- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
GOP scores early gains as redistricting plans emerge
Question of the Day
Republicans stand to be the political winners coming out of the 2010 national census, as congressional redistricting will likely make the “average” lawmakers slightly more conservative while cementing GOP control of the House of Representatives, a panel of electoral experts predicted Monday.
Sweeping Republican gains in gubernatorial and statehouse elections last fall have given the party the clear upper hand as states redraw congressional boundaries — or eliminate seats altogether — in the wake of the new census numbers.
“On balance, that 218th seat in the House, the seat Democrats will need to secure a majority in the House, will move two points to the right from where it is today and [the gap] will probably get wider,” said David Wasserman, editor of the Cook Political Report.
Mr. Wasserman was part of a panel held at the Brookings Institute Monday looking at the early returns from the redistricting process. Several Republican-controlled states are coming under fire for drawing the new boundaries to benefit their party by diluting the influence of minority voters, who have historically tended to vote Democrat.
“One result will be more polarization,” said Norm Ornstein, longtime congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He cited North Carolina Reps. Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre were examples of Democratic House members who were “going to be on the chopping block in states where Republicans have gained a little more leverage.”
Some say this redistricting — always an intensely partisan affair — violates the federal Voting Rights Act.
“Across the country it’s fair to say that there are real concerns about the fact that the huge growth in the Latino population is not being reflected in the states where there are new congressional districts being drawn, and those populations feel that their voting strength is not being fairly reflected in those states where maps are being drawn,” said Anita Earls, a civil rights attorney.
Ms. Earls added that in Texas a dozen lawsuits in state and federal court had already been filed protesting that the increase in the state’s Hispanic population was not being reflected in Texas’ redistricting map drafts. Georgia and Mississippi, two other states where with Republican governors and legislatures, face similar legal challenges.
Michael McDonald, a political science professor at George Mason University, said the process of how districts are mapped is very “arcane.”
“It’s not a good system we have in place here,” Mr. McDonald said. “It’s possible now to actually run redistricting software through Web browsers. It allows the public to draw their own redistricting plans; you can see what the political consequences are.”
Ten states have already issued final redistricting maps, while another 33 are still debating the final lines. Seven states will not be shifting congressional boundaries.
Redistricting “has become more vicious,” Mr. Ornstein said. “Voters should choose representatives rather than representatives choosing their voters.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow