Actually New York is close to being a fairly represented state, with a small Democratic bias. One third of the house delegation is Republican, which corresponds to them getting 37% of the presidential vote (Although Schumer won 70% of the vote). Your state, like California*, is much closer to being a representative democracy than states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virgina and North Carolina, where GOP gerrymandering has created a huge gap between the actual vote and party representation in Congress.

In 2012:

  • Florida: Obama got 50%, Nelson won the Senate with 55%, and yet the congressional representation was 17–12 (58%) Republican.
  • Michigan: Obama won 54%, Stabenow won the Senate with 59%, and the congressional representation was 9–5 (64%) Republican.
  • North Carolina: Romney won 51%, McCrory won the Senate with 55%, but congressional representation was 9–4 (69%) Republican.
  • Ohio: Obama won 50%, Brown won the Senate with 50%, and the congressional representation was 12–4 (75%) Republican.
  • Pennsylvania: Obama won 52%, Casey won the Senate with 54%, and the congressional representation was 13–5 (72%) Republican.
  • Virginia: Obama won 51%, Kaine won the Senate with 53%, but congressional representation was 8–3 (72.7%) Republican.
  • Wisconsin: Obama won 53%, Baldwin won the Senate with 51%, but congressional representation was 5–3 (62.5%) Republican.

(BTW, Illinois is the only blue state that unfairly minimizes Republican representation in Congress.)

This is why our country is controlled and obstructed by a small group of right wing extremists in the House. The Republicans use their status as the majority party to follow the Hastert child molester rule which is the idea that the only votes on legislation to occur will be on those where the bill can be passed without any support from the Democrats. There are hundreds of bills that would pass with bipartisan support, but the speaker of the House will not allow them to reach the floor for a vote if he can’t get support from the Tea Party extremists.

We have massive problems at the state level, where party supercedes any interest in democracy. And the only way to change it is by putting massive resources and energy into changing the composition of state legislatures in time for the 2020 Census, when redistricting will occur again.

But given the way this country is divided and whites are on the way to becoming a minority in this country, do you think anyone on that side of the aisle would agree to change a rigged system that favors them?

  • Districting reform, as practiced in California tried to increase competitive races and encourage more moderate candidates, but there are still almost no upsets of incumbents. This year, liberal candidates won almost 64% of the vote (Clinton 61%, Stein 2%, La Riva .5%), and Democrats won almost 64% in the Senate primary (the runoff came down to two Democratic candidates). In state Congressional races, Republicans won only 26% of the seats, with hardly any turnover, so there is a slight liberal bias still. The independent commission composed of three Democrats, three Republicans and two Independents draw up district lines according to the following criteria:
  1. Population Equality: Districts must comply with the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of “one person, one vote”
  2. Federal Voting Rights Act: Districts must ensure an equal opportunity for minorities to elect a candidate of their choice
  3. Geographic Contiguity: All areas within a district must be connected to each other, except for the special case of islands
  4. Geographic Integrity: Districts shall minimize the division of cities, counties, local neighborhoods and communities of interests to the extent possible, without violating previous criteria. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.
  5. Geographic Compactness: To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with previous criteria, districts must not bypass nearby communities for more distant communities.

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