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# Taking Math to the Gerrymandering Accusation

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.