PA Republicans Win Redistricting Game

Source: NPA

The GOP won a lopsided majority of Pennsylvania’s congressional seats despite the fact that Democrats won more votes for Congress here.

2,701,820 Pennsylvanians voted for a Democrat for Congress compared to 2,626,995 who voted for a Republican, according to a tally from the Philadelphia Weekly.

Despite that, Republicans now hold an impressive 13 of Pa.’s 18 congressional seats. The pièce de résistance was the 12th district, where the GOP picked up the seat of Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria). Meanwhile, all 4 semi-serious Democratic challenges to Pa. Republican incumbents fizzled.

“Elections have consequences,” President Obama said. The map is a consequence of the 2010 elections, when the GOP swept into both Pa. legislative chambers.

The congressional map was drawn by Republican staffers based almost entirely on input from GOP members of the delegation.

But the map passed the state House with ease, 136 to 61. 36 Democrats joined the GOP to pass the new lines. Why? In part because Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Allegheny), Bob Brady (D-Phila), and Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny) lobbied them to. The map shored up those incumbents against potential primary challenges (at least Altmire thought).

The Pa. Senate passed the map mostly on party lines, with a few Republicans defecting.

Republicans made similar moves in Ohio; Democrats did the exact same thing in Illinois and California Maryland.

The real problem posed by gerrymandering is not that it helps or hurts Democrats or Republicans, it’s that it foments ideological extremism. If a district is uncompetitive in the general, members must instead look over their shoulders and vote so as to avoid a primary challenge.

12 thoughts on “PA Republicans Win Redistricting Game

  1. A look at these maps and any fool can tell they are rigged. What happened to our constitutional laws regarding contiguous districting?

  2. Maybe the Dems should have given more support to Boockvar, Daugherty, Trivedi, and Stilp (Badey I have issues with)

    I say, screw Critz, he was a blue dog and pretty much, PA will have no need for them in the not too distant future.

  3. Like everything else, if those who don’t like this (myself included) want to change it, we need a plan, some money and the willingness to get off our duffs and go to work.

  4. Critz was a democrat that lost because he wasn’t well liked. He would have lost his old district as well. Critz turned on the democrats himself knowing PA was against Obama. Thanks to Ed Rendell and our lovely riged election machines the rest of the democrats won in PA. Critz is just really disliked.
    And Murphy is really a democrat which is how he wins.
    http://www.citizensagainstmarkcritz.com/

  5. Democrats should not complain, this map is what had to be done to preserve 3 seats in Philly.

  6. Gerrymandering is aimed as much at one party as it is at the other, regardless of which party does it. Its goal is to squeeze out potentially strong primary challengers, which cements the establishment’s hold on the party, as well as to hold on to or expand party representation in the overall delegation. I don’t agree that it foments extremism; rather, it foments deep dissatisfaction that party establishments are too scared to face toe-to-toe primary fights. So much investment goes into cultivating, developing and electing Yes men, that party apparatuses can’t afford to lose primaries to charismatic candidates free of party control. Republican gerrymandering has probably created more friction within the party ranks than even the party endorsements in primary races.

  7. GOP state gerrymandering is disgusting and dishonest, and these results demonstrate it clearly. Corbett will be 1 term as a result. Looks at the statewide races, all won by Dems. The GOP cheating will have consequences.

  8. I was no fan of the redistricting lines but would it have made a difference? It would be interesting to see the results with the old districts. Look at where the democrat votes are: they are overwhelmingly in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – huge margins for Democrats over Republicans. In the rest of the state, Republicans had a majority of votes but not huge margins. The comment implies that Congressional representatives for PA should be given to the parties proportionally by the number of total votes – that is not representation for those in geographic areas.

  9. Crazy gerrymandering. The long term trend for the eastern half of PA is more Democratic and that is where the population is gaining or holding steady in the state so the long term trend for PA is blue.

  10. These congressional maps are a travesty and it is a bigger travesty that the Democratic Congressional delegation supported it. THe house is supposed to represt the people but this congressional delegation is not representative of the state population as a whole. I’m beginning to get a little tired of Bob Brady. First he supports this map and then this crazy Phillly casino idea? It is time for a serious challenger in the Deomicratic primary to Brady in District 1.

  11. California has an independent redistricting commission, it wasn’t handled by Democrats. In fact, the commission, which doesn’t consider where Reps live, put two Democratic incumbents in one district in at least once instance.

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