Illinois Might Be The Worst Democratic Gerrymander In The Nation

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The worst Democratic gerrymander within the nation is arguably in Illinois, because it set off a high-stakes recreation of musical chairs among the many state’s 5 Republican Home members.

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Nathaniel Rakich:Considered one of our best presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican from Illinois. However the state’s new gerrymandered congressional map appears hell-bent on making Republican congressmen from Illinois an endangered species.

There are at the moment 5 Republicans in Illinois’s U.S. Home delegation. However that was apparently too many for the Democrats who have been accountable for Illinois redistricting final fall. They drew a map that packed all 5 Republicans into simply three congressional districts.

That kicked off a high-stakes recreation of electoral musical chairs. At first, Congressman Mike Bost and Congresswoman Mary Miller have been thrown together into the twelfth District, whereas Congressman Rodney Davis was alone in the 15th District. However the far-right Miller apparently determined she had a greater shot of staying in Congress if she ran for reelection within the fifteenth in opposition to Davis, who’s more moderate. In the meantime, over within the sixteenth District, Congressmen Darin LaHood and Adam Kinzinger have been additionally double-bunked, a scenario that was solely resolved when Kinzinger decided not to seek reelection.

Because of this, Democrats may maintain 14 of Illinois’s 17 congressional seats after the 2022 election. That’s 82 % of seats, regardless that they’ll in all probability win lower than 60 % of the state’s common vote. That’s attainable solely due to what number of Republican votes are “wasted” below the brand new map — both as a result of they’re being forged in a district that’s already safely crimson or as a result of they’re outnumbered by Democratic votes. Both approach, these votes don’t depend towards a win.

Based mostly on the 2020 presidential election outcomes, this map wastes 1.9 million Republican votes. That’s virtually twice the variety of Democratic votes which can be wasted below the map.

Theoretically, if Republicans and Democrats had the identical variety of wasted votes in Illinois, Republicans would win 2.2 more congressional seats than below a gerrymander of this caliber. By that measure, Illinois is the worst gerrymander within the nation drawn by Democrats.

Illinois’s aggressive gerrymander is a giant a part of the rationale Democrats have gained seats from redistricting nationwide this yr. Nevertheless it may additionally backfire. With the intention to draw so many blue seats, Democrats needed to unfold their voters skinny, leaving some districts with solely a small Democratic lean. If Republicans have a robust 2022 election, they might find yourself successful not solely their three safely crimson seats but in addition these light-blue seats. This gerrymander may find yourself being the most important blunder in Illinois since Mrs. O’Leary’s cow knocked over that lantern.

To make sure, this map will most definitely assist Democrats of their quest to carry onto the Home. Nevertheless it’s additionally attainable that they’ve bitten off greater than they will chew.



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