Ned Kennington | Indy Week

Ned Kennington 
Member since Feb 7, 2011


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Re: “North Carolina’s New Congressional Maps Accomplish an Old Goal

While I agree with the overall thrust of Jeffry Billman's article in the 2-24-16 Indy, "North Carolina’s New Congressional Maps Accomplish an Old Goal", he got some of the details VERY wrong.

The first sentence of the article is: "Ask most political scientists, and they'll tell you that the media fretting over gerrymandering is often overblown. It's a factor, sure, but it isn't the sole driver of political polarization—the not-gerrymandered U.S. Senate has polarized nearly as much as the U.S. House..."

Billman does not seem to recognize that the Senate is already gerrymandered by the state boundaries: Low density states (Conservative) with few citizens get the same number of votes (2) as high density states (Liberal) with many more citizens. (It is true that this was probably a compromise adopted by the founding fathers.)

Later Billman says "Another, perhaps bigger culprit is self-segregation: liberals cram into urban areas, where Democrats rack up huge margins. Conservatives spread out in exurbs and rural areas, where Republicans win more seats by slightly smaller margins. That happens absent any legislative chicanery."

Actually, the construction of Congressional Districts corrects for density (and "self-segregation") by the "one person, one vote" rule. If Congressional District boundaries were drawn in a politically neutral manner, there would be no bias in favor of either party.

It is indeed through profound legislative chicanery that NC's Congressional District boundaries produced 10 Republican Representatives and only 3 Democratic Representatives in an election where most voters voted Democratic.

Ned Kennington
*Bring back democracy: End Gerrymandering

Ned Kennington
1415 Pennsylvania Ave
Durham, NC 27705

Posted by Ned Kennington on 03/03/2016 at 9:59 AM

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