Friday, December 13, 2013

Cancel 2014 congressional elections?

Then-Gov. Bev Perdue stepped in it in 2011 when she suggested (jokingly or not) that the 2012 congressional elections should be cancelled so Congress could focus on economic recovery instead of campaigning for re-election.

But if the 2014 congressional elections were cancelled, it would barely change a thing. Elections expert Charlie Cook is out with his new ratings of U.S. House races. They suggest that, as usual, there's very little to be decided, and even less in North Carolina than some other states.

All 435 House seats are up for reelection. Of those, 362 are locks for either the Democrat or the Republican. Thirty more are practically locks, very likely to go to the dominant party in those districts.

That leaves 43 seats that are at all competitive, the Cook Political Report says, and 30 of those lean one way or the other. Just 13 are true toss ups in Cook's estimation. None of the 13 is in the Carolinas and only one of the 43 is -- Rep. Mike McIntyre's N.C. District 7 seat, which leans safe to him.

In other words, here we sit, nearly a year before 20 seats in Congress from the Carolinas will be decided, and a fifth-grader could accurately predict how all 20 will go. It's the result of gerrymandering, clever mapmaking in which politicians pick their voters rather than voters picking their politicians.  

Is this really the best way to pick the leaders of the leading republic on earth? Of course not. It's time for North Carolina and other states to follow Iowa's lead by having the maps drawn by bureaucrats forbidden from considering the political implications.

-- Taylor Batten

8 comments:

Dan Gardella said...

horsebleep. the creation of safe minority seats is what has disfigured the electoral process. minority seats dissipate democrat votes in other districts thereby making them more red. You reap what you sow.

Observer editorial board said...

So we agree, gerrymandering is to blame.

Andy S said...

With that being said, the House remains in Republican (not necessarily Conservative!) control....

The author fails to mention the Senate, where there is an excellent opportunity to rid ourselves of RINO Republicans and change the balance of power as well....here in NC we have the opportunity to replace Senator Kay HAG(an)...Chief ObamaCare "If you like your plan and Doctor, you can keep them!" Cheerleader in the State.....with a constitutional Conservative like Greg Brannon no less!

annnort said...

We are living with 150 years of democrat gerrymandering in NC. The republicans have not had the majority long enough to change the districts.

Since 30 states now have republican governors, let us hope that democratic gerrymandering changes by next year, or does not matter. When millions lose their insurance on Jan 1, that rail for the progressives should run straight from DC to home. Then we can become the USA again.rialgli

CharlotteObserver said...

Welcome aboard observer.

Hope you enjoy it here in steerage, the same way we taxpayers have had put up with it all this time.

WashuOtaku said...

The Federal government should outlaw gerrymandering; but that will never happen, we have over 200 years of history proving that.

Archiguy said...

The Republicans created the Tea Party and used the boogeyman of Obamacare to scare people into voting for them in 2010, knowing that decennial House and state legislature elections are held in census years and that's when redistricting takes place. They knew they could then use computers to redraw districts in a way that had never been done before. They were diabolically successful.

Gerrymandering was thus carried to new never-before-seen levels, evidenced by the U.S. House and many state legislatures reverting to GOP hands even though Democrats outpolled Republicans nationally by some 1.5 million votes.

And the GOP continues to use the ACA as a propaganda tool, only now the result of that historic gerrymandering has been unprecedented obstructionism in Congress, where their only goal is to simply oppose every policy decision of the Obama Administration, and enact horribly regressive legislation on the state level as they've done so spectacularly here in NC.

They only hope is that there are enough traditional conservative voters in these gerrymandered districts that are as fed up with the new GOP's scorched earth brand of politics that they'll vote with the few remaining Democrats in their districts to kick out the Tea Party radicals and restore some semblance of governmental sanity to this country before its too late. It's a slim hope, granted, but until logical and sensible district-drawing procedures are adopted nationally, it's all we've got.

CharlotteObserver said...

Archiguy must be an autobot from the democrats.

All we ever see from those posts is how much damage the Republicans and the Tea Party is destroying this country.

Yet all of that is to keep folks from seeing what is happening right before their eyes by the democrats he champions so well.