5 Points About Democrats’ Bad (But Not 2011-Level Bad) Position Going Into Redistricting | Talking Points Memo

Heading into last week’s election, Democrats had poured considerable resources into avoiding the Republican sweep that happened a decade ago, in the 2010 midterms, and that allowed GOP lawmakers in several states to draw legislative maps with extreme tilts to their advantage.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1343827

U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2:

The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.

If the Democrats take back the Senate, maybe they can figure out that 1) the Trump Administration clearly rigged the census, 2) one year is within ten years, and 3) any voting rights legislation they might pass should include a ban on gerrymandering.

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I have argued deep blue states (i.e. California) should legislate some incentive for gerrymandered states to draw fair districts

using the mathematical equation presented to the SC in recent cases as a metric for fairness, a state like CA could mandate that for a company to do business in CA the headquarters of that business would need to be in a state that has fairly drawn districts per the equation

I have had arguments against this approach as being in conflict with interstate trade provisions in the Constitution, which I am not versed enough to comment on but suspect others are correct, but that is beside the point, we are no longer operating within the bounds of established norms, and to take a page out of the repube playbook, I’d say “sue me”, an argument could be made that states with these types of incentives are seeking to have businesses locate in their territory

I understand that there are weaknesses to this approach but my point is to think of ways to combat gerrymandering, and since money is all that seems to garner any attention from that side…


Maybe, maybe not. As an employee of the State of California, there are certain states I’m not allow to travel to on state business (ABB 1887) because they discriminate. This doesn’t run afoul of any interstate commerce rules…

The following states are currently subject to California’s ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel:

  1. Alabama
  2. Idaho
  3. Iowa
  4. Kansas
  5. Kentucky
  6. Mississippi
  7. North Carolina
  8. Oklahoma
  9. South Carolina
  10. South Dakota
  11. Tennessee
  12. Texas



I can’t find the reference, but I’ve read from others on this board that a law in the mid 1900s (1929ish) strictly enforced a 10-year reapportionment cycle, specifically designed to thwart this sort of political chicanery during off-year periods (and also to force reapportionment to happen since the Congress had refused to reapportion during the 1920 cycle). So it may not be in the cards to redo the census/apportionment between the decades.

The definitive book on how Dems blew the 2010 redistricting. Mainly out of sheer ineptitude and negligence. Because that how Dems roll.


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The “term” of each Enumeration is 10 years, so conducting a new census won’t accomplish anything. It certainly wouldn’t make any state that has already redistricted do so again.

You, know that the truth should be expressed, but am I allowed to be f–ing sick of being fed huge dollops of it?

I’m just wondering if we’re going to hold on to the House. We’re three votes shy, they’re still counting a bunch, that would be a complete disaster.

Just wondering. I need more things to make me worry. Seriously. My dog is sick, my Bro-In-law is sick, Trump isn’t, McConnell is still breathing, Barr is still breathing, you know.

The solution may be to simply extend the work of the current census. Declare it incomplete and allow it to be revised, including additional canvassing, before it is issued.


A nuclear weapon though is to abolish districts entirely, which was instituted in every state by Congressional legislation in 1849. Make it at large, ranked choice voting.

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No effing way. Not only will it never happen, it would be a goddamned disaster for constituent services. And ranked choice wouldn’t prevent states from routinely voting in single-party delegations. The only way to avoid that is to turn the elections into proportional-representation affairs, which might not even be allowable under Article I.

Wherever possible, local dems owe it to the rest of us to gerrymander GOP out of existence. Anyone who gibbers about being “fair” or “bipartisan” hasn’t been paying attention for the past 20 years and needs to get serious.


I like this, particularly for states that have just a few (2-7, say) districts. Bigger states might be permitted a few multi-rep districts. The “first past the post” single member districts not only encourage gerrymandering, they easily give unwarranted power to sparsely populated areas where the folks enjoy their “rural lifestyles.” Plus, districts like this make a two-party system all but mandatory.

Also consider “proportional representation” wherein the seats are apportioned among the different parties, depending on their percentage of the vote. Fewer “wasted votes”, which under our current system is near to 50%.

(A wasted vote is one for which the voter gets zero representation. That is, for “the loser.”)

Oh, also, either abolish the Senate or “redistrict” the states to where populations are near-equal. Thus, we might have “The West” for one senate district, and 10-15 sub-Californias. As for the East Coast, if you think Rhode Island is tiny, wait until you see the many senatorial districts of New York City - borough by borough!

(No I haven’t looked at actual numbers)

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Exactly. Also note that Today’s GOP considers any redistricting “unfair” unless they achieve the maximum representation possible. They will whine and scream about ANYTHING. Everybody, particularly the media, needs to just tune them out.

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I have presented this to both of my Assembly and Senate representatives previously

maybe I will throw the bone again

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The “New Rules” that the Republicans and the SCOTUS have established is that partisan Gerrymandering is constitutional. Therefore, if Democrats want to initiate Gerrymandering reform, they’ll have to force Republicans to WANT to come to the negotiating table. The ONLY way to do that is the Gerrymander the F**k out of the states that Democrats control. The advantage that Democrats have is that they actually have more voters to work with. Republican have to both Pack AND Crack districts as a way to REDUCE the number of Democrats who get elected. Democrats can Crack EVERY single district in their states, leaving ZERO Republican safe seats. If Dems would extreme Gerrymander the Democratically controlled states, they could eliminate >40 Republicans from the House of Representatives. Losing that many might prompt the Republican Party to agree to pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the practice, once and for all.

But mark my word… Nothing short of that will get Republicans to negotiate. Their hold on power depends on the status quo.



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At the very least, they ought to draw McCarthy and Nunes to oblivion. Bullies only respond to a show of force

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It can be banned by legislation. The solution is to pass legislation banning it, as soon as Democrats can.

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