Drawing The Battle Lines Over Gerrymandering

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A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette, 1812, describes "gerrymandering." (Library of Congress)
A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette, 1812, describes "gerrymandering." (Library of Congress)

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has redrawn congressional maps — and President Trump isn’t happy about it. We’ll talk about partisan gerrymandering, and the effect it has on the balance of power in Washington.


David Wasserman, U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, contributor to FiveThirtyEight. (@Redistrict)

Liz Navratil, state government reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (@LizNavratil)

Keith Gaddie, professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma who provided redistricting consultation for Wisconsin Republicans in 2011. (@GaddieWindage)

From The Reading List: Hating Gerrymandering Is Easy. Fixing It Is Harder. — "As politics in the U.S. has polarized along geographic and racial lines, drawing political maps has become a partisan arms race. Even the smallest decisions about where to draw district boundaries can alter the power dynamic in Congress — without a single voter switching parties or moving."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New Congressional Map Would Have Major Changes For Pittsburgh, Western Pa. — "A new congressional map selected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could drastically change races in the western corner of the state, including Pittsburgh and its suburbs."

There are some crazy congressional districts in Pennsylvania that were drawn to give Republicans there a disproportionate share of the vote. It’s a particularly egregious case of gerrymandering. The state Supreme Court said the map is unfair and ordered a new one. A North Carolina map has also been challenged, and the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a Wisconsin case. The question of how to draw voting districts fairly is finally getting some attention. But easier said than done; the control of Congress is possibly at stake. This hour, On Point: the coming fight over gerrymandering. --Tom Gjelten

This program aired on February 21, 2018.


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