In 2010, Republicans won the governorships and control of the legislatures in states across the Rust Belt. Because it was a census year, the GOP engaged in extreme gerrymandering that, at least at first glance, seemingly insured their control of those states for at least the next decade.
In a previous post, I suggested that their extreme gerrymandering might actually accelerate, rather than forestall, their current and growing demographic challenges in those states. For the gerrymandering has in many cases eliminated the possibility of meaningfully contested general elections. As a result, the primaries will encourage radical conservative groups to put forward candidates whose views will seem increasingly extreme and anachronistic not just to Democratic and independent voters but also to mainstream Republican voters.
Over the past two weeks, a GOP scheme to alter the electoral college system by awarding electoral votes in certain states by congressional districts has received considerable attention in the national media. For the most part, commentators have focused on the risk to the party in so blatantly attempting to rig the electoral system in its favor. Certainly, the GOP’s largely unsuccessful attempts to use supposed voter fraud as a cover for measures intended to suppress Democratic turnout in the 2012 elections has severely compromised the party’s ability to sell changes in the allocation of electoral votes as anything but an attempt to rig the system in its favor.