Democrats might not win the House
Michael Li and Laura Royden
The New York Times
Democrats are “giddy” about their prospects of retaking the House in 2018, said Michael Li and Laura Royden, but they may be bitterly disappointed. The 9-point lead Democrats now hold on a generic midterm ballot would historically translate to winning well more than the 24 seats the party needs to reclaim the majority. But our analysis shows just how much “extreme gerrymandering” has changed the game. Unless the blue wave is a historic 11 points or more, Democrats would likely pick up only 13 seats—leaving Republicans in control. That’s because of the GOP’s aggressive, data-driven redrawing of congressional districts following 2010’s Republican midterm rout. Now even “big purple battleground” states such as Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina are so radically carved up that Democrats will need to stage “a nearly unprecedented electoral earthquake to take any additional seats.” In a major ruling due this year, the Supreme Court may “finally set bounds on partisan gerrymandering.” California—with districts now drawn by an independent nonpartisan commission—has already provided a blueprint for reform. We need a fair system that gives voters “the government they want,” not a rigged system designed by whichever party is in power.