Democrats have lost over a thousand state and federal offices over the past 20 years, and their support is now heavily concentrated in large cities and the coasts. That’s put Republicans in charge of many state legislatures that draw up Congressional district lines. Democrats have largely blamed Republican gerrymandering for their losses, but is there any truth to that? Not much, it seems.
The 2017 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index was released Friday. It found that the number of swing districts has declined, but that only 17% of that can be ascribed to gerrymandering. A full 83% is due to “natural geographic sorting,” or voters voting with their feet. As a district gets more Republican, Democrats tend to move out, leaving it even more Republican. Likewise, as a place gets more Democratic, Republicans move out.
I might add from my own observations, so do business owners, taxpayers and people who don’t enjoy being crime victims. That leaves the district very heavily Democratic. Eventually, life there gets so lousy that even Democrats start moving to Republican areas. Unfortunately, they then start voting for Democrats to ruin their new home like they did the old one, and the process starts all over again. So it’s not gerrymandering causing America’s problems, it’s just the circle of political life.