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Friday, November 09, 2012

Why 2010 Really Was A Disaster

Another big lesson we should take from 2012 is actually about 2010.  Yes, it was a wave election, not atypical for a prez to get spanked mid-term, etc.  Much of it was fueled by Tea Party enthusiasm and more apathy/sitting out by Democrats.

The shift to GOP majority in the House obviously had significant ramifications for the next 2 years, but the disaster is actually more long-lasting that that.  Consider:

Although a small number of ballots remain to be counted, as of this writing, votes for a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives outweigh votes for Republican candidates. Based on ThinkProgress’ review of all ballots counted so far, 53,952,240 votes were cast for a Democratic candidate for the House and only 53,402,643 were cast for a Republican — meaning that Democratic votes exceed Republican votes by more than half a million.

Two caveats are necessary in considering these numbers. The first is that all ballots have not been counted, so these numbers will change somewhat as more returns trickle in. (Because the remaining ballots are more likely to be from Democratic-leaning west coast states, it is likely that the Democrats’ margin will increase somewhat over time.) The second caveat is that these numbers include several California districts where two members of the same party ran against each other, and they do not include districts where a single candidate ran unopposed. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the nation is very closely divided over which party should control the House, with Democrats appearing to enjoy a slight edge.

The actual partisan breakdown of the 113th Congress will be very different, however. Currently, Republicans enjoy a 233-192 advantage over Democrats, with 10 seats remaining undecided. That means that, in a year when Republicans earned less than half the popular vote, they will control a little under 54 percent of the House even if Democrats run the table on the undecided seats.

There is a simple explanation for how this happened: Republicans won several key state legislatures and governors’ mansions in the election cycle before redistricting, and they gerrymandered those states within an inch of their lives.

Democrats not only ceded the US House to Republicans, but also much at the state level, allowing for some horrible structural disadvantages for the party through redistricting.  Then there's this:

Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes. Under Husted’s plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.

Obama won the College 332-206.  Change OH alone, and he still wins handily, 320-218.  But what about PA, who considered such a move last year?  13 more to Romney, so now it's 307-231.  VA?  299-239.  FL makes it 281-257.  MI, 272-266. WI...267-271.

So you might be less-than-enthused about your president, but if you sit out, you give the other team more chances to put their folks into office, from local elections officials to the Leg to the Secretary of State.  Having such levers of power means they can entrench Congressional majorities despite an approximate national desire for Democratic policies and can even throw the presidential election.

Oh yeah, and don't forget the school boards.  Conservatives took them over and controlled a curriculum that churns out kids like this.

Whenever you have the chance to vote, do it.  Otherwise, your vote may mean less in the future.

ntodd

PS--And get involved beyond voting.  Like, get on the school board!

November 9, 2012 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink

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Comments

I'm thrilled beyond thrilled that both houses of the MN legislature returned to DFL control in this election. The party of the radical right, who rammed their State Constitutional ammendment proposals down the throats of the electorate, shut down the State Government by refusing to negotiate with our Governor on the budget and slashed education and public welfare programs were finally vanquished. The DFL is cautioned not to "overreach" in their newfound power. If restoration is seen as overreach then shove that noise. The voters rejected the ammendments, rejected the party of "no" and rejected the nonsense.

Posted by: mnkid | Nov 9, 2012 11:45:43 AM

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