David Wasserman’s national House popular vote data now shows Democrats got significantly more votes than Republicans – a lead of 49.15% to 48.03% for a margin of 1.362 million votes. It was gerrymandering – not the will of the people – that gave Republicans a 33-seat majority. How did it look here in Virginia?
Popular votes cast in Virginia U.S. House races for …
Democrats: 1,806,050 (49%)
Republicans: 1,876,699 (51%)
U.S. House seats won by …
Democrats: 3 (27%)
Republicans: 8 (73%)
At ThinkProgress.org, Iam Millhiser estimates Democrats would have to win the national popular vote in the House by 7.25% to win a majority of House seats. With 2006 district lines, roughly that same national margin gave Democrats a 31-seat majority – but with 2014’s gerrymandering, it would barely give Democrats control of the chamber. And with more safe Republican districts come more extreme Tea Party members – Republicans know they face just as big a threat in the primary as they do in the general election.
This is a problem that can only be solved on the national level. It does us no good if only some states go to nonpartisan redistricting – then power accumulates with the parties that control the gerrymandered states and you’re just rewarding the bad actors.