Jansing and Co | February 05, 2013
>>> democrats and republicans are already crafting their midterm battle plans, which includes redistricting or gerrymandering. that contorts districts to favor one party over another. republicans in some states are also talking about changes the way we elect the president. they would award electoral votes by congressional district , instead of winner takes all to the candidate who carries the state. richard lui is here with the drilldown, and richard, you found out that gerrymandering had an enormous impact on the last election.
>> chris, democratic congressional candidates got at least 1.4 million more votes than republicans nationwide, but then only won 33 fewer seats. why? because border lines that have been revised over two years to look like this one in florida. all the way from orlando to jacksonville is how far this district goes. and we've got north carolina . that's another example. it looks amoeba, like? not a square, not a circle, but a carefully carved congressional district to favor one party. it goes through about a dozen cities. state houses across the country with republicans and majorities are daying election district lines like that so get more republicans to congress than they would otherwise. those gerrymandering tactics include packing, putting voters who support your opponent into other districts opponents will already win, and cracking, in close races, moving voters who might vote for your opponent out of your district. now, gerrymandering has helped republicans in virginia gain eight seats in congress to the democrats ' three, despite votes for republican candidates being only 70,000 more. swing state , ohio, 12 seats for republicans and 4 for democrats . democrats do this, too. in illinois, 54% of the popular vote went to democrats , but they won 66% of the house seats. maryland, democrats with 62% of the popular vote , but 88% of the seats. all said, in 2012 , republicans are outdid democrats by a net seven seats, according to princeton researcher sam wang . now, this disenfranchisement means each republican vote in states like ohio and virginia is equal to 2 1/2 votes, democratic votes. also in illinois and maryland, up to three republican votes equal one democratic vote. now, chris, that is the math the founding fathers did not intend, what i just showed you there. redistricting to them was to ensure a true people's house.
>> and they get redrawn again in 2020 . where did this term, gerrymandering come from?
>> you'll find this interesting. gerrymandering celebrated its 200th anniversary just last year. the boston gazette used it to describe what the massachusetts governor at time was trying to do. his name was elbridge enginegerry to benefit his district, and it looked like a salamander he drew it out, put that together, you get gerrymander.
>> that wraps up this hour.