Sometimes cheerleading lacks historical accuracy.

I've seen lots of different numbers thrown out for how many seats Texas redistricting helped Republicans gain. Someone somewhere even said that redistricting only gained one seat for the GOP. I've also seen people say it was two seats.

As Vince Vaughn might say, "Erroneous! Erroneous on all counts!"

In 2000, Democrats had a 17-13 edge in the Texas Congressional delegation. After 2002's reapportionment, it became 17-15 Dems (and later 16-16, when district 4's Ralph Hall switched parties pre-election, but post-redistricting, if I recall correctly).

Right now, it is 19-13 GOP. But look, if redistricting hadn't occurred, the 2006 Democratic wave would've almost definitely have crashed over Bonilla. His 2002 district was not a maintainable GOP hold in the 2006 environment, and the 02 district would've even been a tough race in 2004. So, redistricting had no effect. [For what it's worth, Bonilla should have a fighting shot if he chooses to run in 2008, thought I doubt he will. Last Tuesday's run-off is not as good a predictor of future support as the 06 general election, where Bonilla almost had a majority in a horrific, horrific environment, albeit as an incumbent.] Democratic cheerleading aside, they didn't really land a blow on DeLay's redistricting. Whether we had redistricting or not, the result was the same.

And as to DeLay's district? Perhaps the ramifications of redistricting did him in, but perhaps not. This certainly was not the first time that Democrats had attempted to use the judicial system as a means to force DeLay out of office. So DeLay might've had to quit anyway, as he saw it. And besides, if Republicans can't take back CD22 in 2008, then 08 will probably be just as bad a cycle as 06. Actually, probably worse, although not worse on sheer numbers because Democrats have already taken all the low-hanging electoral fruit.

So, right now redistricting picked up 4 seats for the GOP (or 3, if you don't count Ralph Hall, but there's no reason to think he wouldn't have switched without redistricting). But really, it's 5 seats, because CD22 is not a Democratic district.

Posted by Evan @ 12/15/06 07:05 AM


Previous Entry | Home | Next Entry


No comments yet

Add Comments

No flames or impolite behavior. HTML will be stripped. URLs will be transformed into hyperlinks.