When the announcement came out that the Republicans had reached the 218 number that determines control of the house of representatives, one of the first comments I saw was “They did it by Gerrymandering the districts!” accompanied by a rant on the states the evil Republicans had Gerrymandered. Now here in Montana, the eastern district is solidly Republican . . . and the numbers are more interesting:
Rosendale (Republican) 56.6%
Buchanan (Independent) 21.9%
Penny Ronning (Democrat) 20.2%
Sam Rankin (Libertarian) 1.4%
I think Democrats are as endangered on the East side as they are in Lincoln County. When an Indy and a Libertarian pull more votes than the Democrat candidate, it’s a reasonably safe bet that they pulled more votes from Rosendale than Ronning.
Our western district, on the other hand, doesn’t look particularly Gerrymandered – Zinke scored 49.6%, Tranel 46.5%, and Lamb came in with 3.9%. With the failed Libertarian candidate making up more than the difference, it doesn’t look Gerrymandered. On the other hand, if I were Zinke’s 2024 campaign manager, I’d start working on that election very soon.
Nationally, as I download the data on RealClearPolitics, it shows 53,619,512 Republican votes for Representatives have 218 Representatives and 49,947,328 Dem votes have 213. Four remain undecided – but the data is close enough to put into equations. 50.9 percent Republican, 47.5% Democrat. 218 Representatives is 50.115% of the House, 213 Representatives is 48.966%. If anything, the Dems are punching a little above their weight.
If all of the 4 remaining undecideds go to the Republicans (unlikely, my guess is no more than 3), just 51% of the Representatives will be Republicans – with 50.9% of the vote. My maximum projection is 3, for 221 . . . 50.8% of the Representatives for 50.9% of the vote. If Gerrymandering is a factor, it hit both sides equally this election.