By Christopher B. Daly
In their own words, Republican strategists explain one of the superficially puzzling results of the 2012 election: The total vote for all Republican candidates for the U.S. House combined were 1 million votes fewer than the total vote for Democratic candidates for the U.S. House. Yes, the Republicans won a majority of House seats, giving them the power to elect the House Speaker.
In this memo, the Republican State Leadership Committee takes credit, saying that Republicans who control state governments used that power when they used the results of the 2010 census to redraw the lines that define House districts. (That job is a responsibility of the states, not Congress itself.) No surprise, Republicans drew districts that favored their own party’s candidates.
Here’s the takeaway:
The rationale was straightforward: Controlling the redistricting process in these states would have the greatest impact on determining how both state legislative and congressional district boundaries would be drawn. Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade.