Democrats are projected to win more than 54% of the vote in the 2018 House elections, but only pick up 12 seats thanks to heavily gerrymandered Congressional districts.
Decision Desk HQ projects that Democrats will win 54.2% of the vote, but only net 12 seats, as Republicans will keep the majority by a count of 229-206. Democrats only have a 30.3% chance of winning back the majority because of gerrymandering.
Former President Obama mentioned gerrymandering during his final State Of The Union, “We have to change the system to reflect our better selves. I think we’ve got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around. Let a bipartisan group do it.”
When incumbents get to draw their own districts, the result is a Congress that ignores that will of the people with impunity, because they know that the map has been rigged in their favor. Gerrymandering means that unpopular legislation like Obamacare repeal gets pushed through the House, while publicly supported ideas like universal gun purchase background checks languish because Republican incumbents don’t have to answer to the American people.
Gerrymandering makes it exponentially more difficult for Democrats to win back the House, but not impossible. Gerrymandering kills representative democracy because it isolates the officials from the people that they were elected to represent. It is a practice that is a threat to the fairness of US elections, but it won’t end until Democrats start winning back state legislatures.
The hill steep, and the challenge is difficult, which is why people must work three times harder if they wish to elect a Democratic check on Trump in 2018.