This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

I recommend you read the full article The Great Gerrymander by Prof. Sam Wang [http://www.nytimes.com/...]

Wang adds up all the votes for Democrats and Republicans in a state's various Congressional districts and compares the statewide party percentages with the proportion of Congressional seats which go to each party to see the impact of gerrymandering.  Wang says, "start with the naïve standard that the party that wins more than half the votes should get at least half the seats. In November, five states failed to clear even this low bar..."

"In North Carolina, where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican".  But the state's elected Congressional delegation was, "Four Democrats, nine Republicans".  51% of the votes resulted in 31% of the seats!  

"In the seven states where Republicans redrew the districts, 16.7 million votes were cast for Republicans and 16.4 million votes were cast for Democrats. This elected 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats."  In other words, Democrats got 49% of the vote [at least excluding votes for third parties] and got (almost) 32% of the Congressional seats.

In all, the Republicans made more of a difference for themselves in the 2012 election than Democratic gerrymandering, but both parties do gerrymandering and other tricks.  My first full-time job after college was in a city run by a Democratic political machine comparable to old Chicago.  That's probably part of the reason why we don't hear the Democratic Party making a bigger stink about what the GOP has done.  Still, regardless of whether the Democrats were motivated by civic desire to maintain majority rule or motivated by cynical desire to maximize the number of their own people in office, this should be a critical issue for the party.

There are a number of other mechanisms limiting true majority rule in the US.  There's the Electoral College in presidential elections, there are attempts at voter suppression or intimidation, about 1% of the voting age population are former felons (no longer in jail, probation or parole) denied the right to vote (see: http://www.dailykos.com/...), etc.  Unlimited spending by the rich to influence elections is also a critical issue.

Fair elections, fair districting, fuller freedom to vote and similar guarantees on democracy should be a top priority.  It should be a make-or-break question for any candidates you support and it should be a major effort between election seasons.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.