State Watch

American voters largely united against partisan gerrymandering, polling shows

American voters are largely united in their opposition to partisan gerrymandering, according to recent polling conducted ahead of the upcoming once-per-decade redrawing of state voting maps.

Nearly 9 in 10 voters oppose the use of redistricting in a manner that aims to help one political party or certain politicians win an election, the nonprofit anti-corruption group RepresentUs found. 

“Partisan gerrymandering is one of the most nefarious forms of political corruption, disenfranchising millions of Republicans, Democrats and independents,” Josh Silver, CEO of RepresentUs, said in a statement. “It’s not hard to see why nearly everyone wants to see this practice banned once and for all.”

The findings come ahead of the Census Bureau’s scheduled Aug. 16 release of map data that will inform how states redraw their congressional districts, a process that some experts warn will be rife with partisanship. 

A new study by the liberal nonprofit Brennan Center listed four states — Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas — as possessing the highest risk of extreme gerrymandering, the process by which politicians redraw voting districts in a way to maximize their party’s electoral advantage and dilute their opposing party’s voting power.

Those states could draw anywhere from six to 13 new congressional districts that heavily favor GOP candidates — which would be enough for Republicans to retake the House in 2022, according to findings from the Democratic data firm TargetSmart that were first reported by the progressive outlet Mother Jones. 

Strikingly, the RepresentUs poll on partisan gerrymandering found little variation among voters who backed former President Trump, with 88 percent saying they oppose the practice and 92 percent of Biden voters saying the same. 

The findings were fairly consistent with other polling that has shown bipartisan opposition to gerrymandering and support for independent redistricting commissions. An April poll by AP-NORC found that 74 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents believe gerrymandering is “a major problem.”

A Democratic-backed proposal in Congress, the For the People Act, would ban partisan gerrymandering, but is unlikely to garner enough support from Senate Republicans to overcome a GOP filibuster.

Tags 2022 midterms Donald Trump Gerrymandering
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