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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Regional Makeup of the GOP

At the Los Angeles Times, Paul West reports on the regional composition of the GOP:
"An increasing challenge for Northeastern Republicans, and West Coast Republicans, for that matter, is the growing perception among their constituents that the Republican Party is predominantly a Southern and rural party," said Dan Schnur, a former GOP campaign strategist who directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. "There's always been a political and cultural disconnect between the South and the rest of the country. But as the parties have sorted themselves out geographically over the last few decades, the size of that gap has increased."
To an unprecedented degree, today's Republican majority in the House is centered in the states of the old Confederacy. The GOP enjoys a 57-seat advantage across the 11-state region that stretches from Texas to Virginia.
Outside the South, however, it's a different story.
As a result of reapportionment and the 2012 election, the GOP no longer controls a majority of non-Southern congressional districts. In the last Congress, Republicans held a slim, two-district majority in non-Southern states; now Democrats have a 24-seat edge. Still, the Republicans have a comfortable 33-seat overall majority in the House — two seats are vacant — and only the most optimistic Democrats believe that Republicans will lose control of the chamber in 2014.