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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Redistricting: A 1990 RNC Pamphlet

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race.

There has been much discussion of the role of gerrymandering in House races. Democrats blame unfair districts for GOP control.  Although they may stretch the argument and overlook the role of natural clustering ("unintentional gerrymandering'), there is little doubt that deliberate gerrymandering by GOP state lawmakers pads the party's majorities in the House and the state legislatures.

During the 1980s and 1990s, roles were reversed, as Democrats controlled most legislatures.  During this period, Republicans complained about gerrymandering. In 1990, the Republican National Committee issued a pamphlet about the topic.  "The gerrymander is unfair to voters," it said.  "`Packing' wastes votes while `cracking' makes them ineffectual. With a predetermined outcome, people have little reason to vote."

I am familiar with this pamphlet.  As an RNC staffer at the time, I wrote it.

I have embedded it below.  (Sorry for the light copy.)