The New York Times reports that Republican dominance in the House is mostly not the result of gerrymandering:
The problem for Democrats is that they have overwhelming majorities not only in the dense, poor urban centers, but also in isolated, far-flung college towns, historical mining areas and 19th-century manufacturing towns that are surrounded by and ultimately overwhelmed by rural Republicans.
A motivated Democratic cartographer could produce districts that accurately reflected overall partisanship in states like these by carefully crafting the metropolitan districts and snaking districts along the historical canals and rail lines that once connected the nonmetropolitan Democratic enclaves. But such districts are unlikely to emerge by chance from a nonpartisan process.
So Republican dominance results not from Republican gerrymandering, but from the lack of Democratic gerrymandering. If you group nearby people together, Republicans win.
That’s interesting, but what I found particularly telling is how the NYT introduced these results:
The results were not encouraging for reform advocates.
If the results — showing that reform wouldn’t help Democrats — were not encouraging to reform advocates, that tells us what the actual goals of “reform advocates” are, doesn’t it?