Boehner’s Gerrymandered “Mandate”

John NicholsJohn Nichols over at The Nation explains, John Boehner Has No Mandate. This comes from the fact that Boehner is on his whining tour, complaining to Fox News that the White House, “must have forgotten Republicans continue to hold a majority in the House.” I’m very sympathetic to that line of argument. Boehner shouldn’t roll over just because Obama won re-election by a large margin. Instead, he should roll over because he has no leverage.

But Nichols point is that Boehner is only Speaker of the House because of the ridiculous level of gerrymandering done when the the Republicans were allowed to take over legislatures in so many states. The numbers are striking. When the Democrats took back the House in 2006 with a smaller seat advantage than the Republicans now have (233-202), they won the popular vote by 6.4 million. This was a win of 7.9 percentage points. This year, the Republicans kept a 234-201 seat advantage in the House. But they lost the popular vote by 1.2 million. This is 1.0 percentage points.

Thus, Boehner doesn’t have a mandate. Instead, the United States has a broken system of government.


Want to know all about gerrymandering in a most enjoyable way? The great CGP Grey:

I like that weasel!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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