2010 redistricting yields new breed of recalcitrant Republicans
By Will Femia
Sep 30 2013
Some amazing statistics about the districts of the 236 House GOPers from ’95-’96 shutdown vs. the 232 House GOPers today…
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 30, 2013
David Wasserman, House editor for the Cook Political Report, in tonight’s discussion with Rachel about the role of gerrymandered Congressional districts in creating a political atmosphere in the House that encourages radicalism and recalcitrance over negotiation and accountability, shared some remarkable statistics about the current crop of House Republicans. On top of previous TRMS reporting on how redistricting allowed Republicans to win fewer votes but more House seats in the 2012 election, Wasserman presented the following:
Back in ’95 and ’96 when Republicans had 236 seats during that shutdown, there were 79 out of those 236 seats that were carried by Bill Clinton in 1992. That was many more than the 17 districts that Republicans represent that were won by Barack Obama in the 2012 election. So you’re talking about going from 79 districts where there was some incentive to compromise to 17.
Republicans are living in a completely alternate universe from the rest of the country. Their districts are 75 percent white, compared to 63 percent for the national average and 50 percent for Democratic districts. Consider that only 37 Republicans in the House today out of 233 were around for the ’95, ’96 shutdown. And then, you also have the fact that 48 percent of all House Republicans, and this blows my mind, were elected after George W. Bush left office.
These people owe no allegiance to John Boehner. They ran against not only Democrats, but Republican leadership to get to Congress and they’re reflecting what the primary electorates, which decided their elections back home, wanted in the first place.
Wasserman’s statistics bear out what many have, sometimes jokingly, taken as common wisdom: whatever President Obama supports, reactionary Republicans automatically oppose: