Seven states where Democrats got more votes for Congress than Republicans but won fewer seats


To understand what’s going on here, you have to know the definition of the word “gerrymandering.” It stands for the practice of manipulating the boundaries of a legislative district to favor one party or class.

Republicans and Democrats alike have long histories of gerrymandering. But the political imbalance created by this practice was particularly striking in last week’s congressional elections, which saw Democrats win the overall majority of votes while Republicans won most of the seats in the U.S. House.

Adam Serwer puts it THIS WAY:

Americans woke up on November 7 having elected a Democratic president, expanded the Democratic majority in the Senate, and preserved the Republican majority in the House.

That’s not what they voted for, though. Most Americans voted for Democratic representation in the House. The votes are still being counted, but as of now it looks as if Democrats have a slight edge in the popular vote for House seats, 49 percent-48.2 percent, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Still, as the Post‘s Aaron Blake notes, the 233-195 seat majority the GOP will likely end up with represents the GOP’s “second-biggest House majority in 60 years and their third-biggest since the Great Depression.”

So how did Republicans keep their House majority despite more Americans voting for the other party—something that has only happened three times in the last hundred years, according to political analyst Richard Winger? Because they drew the lines. 

After Republicans swept into power in state legislatures in 2010, the GOP gerrymandered key states, redrawing House district boundaries to favor Republicans. In Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates received half of the votes in House contests, but Republicans will claim about three-quarters of the congressional seats. The same is true in North Carolina. More than half the voters in that state voted for Democratic representation, yet Republicans will fill about 70 percent of the seats. Democrats drew more votes in Michigan than Republicans, but they’ll take only 5 out of the state’s 14 congressional seats.



  1. Milton Waddams

    This BS needs to end. Establishing is so easy using GIS software with specific rules about the districts, such as keep municipal boundaries where possible, maximize area and minimize perimeter, etc. Iowa seems to be able to do it just fine, so why do we put up with this from our elected officials. Voters are supposed to choose their representatives, however what we have now is representatives choosing their voters.

  2. Craig Knauss

    Right on, Milt. I did a research project back in the early 70s and found out that there were thousands of Census Tracts in Illinois alone. There were a whole bunch just in Rockford. These tracts each had their population counted and published. It wouldn’t have been hard to design software to add these numbers up and to have computers group them into Congressional districts. And we shouldn’t worry about municipal boundaries since they have no bearing on Congressional districts. We only put up with this since the party that takes power in the state wants to inflict their wrath on the losing party. They don’t gave a damn about voter rights. And personally, I don’t feel that electoral votes allocated should include Senators. Why should states like Wyoming have one electoral vote for about 150,000 people and California it’s about one vote for over 500,000? That’s a slap in the face for “one man, one vote”.

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