Missouri Redistricting Effort Aided GOP Gains

4 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Sunday, March 30 2014 Mar 30, 2014 Sunday, March 30, 2014 11:01:00 PM CDT March 30, 2014 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - When the 2010 census numbers came out, one thing was certain: Missouri would lose a seat in Congress. And because Republican state lawmakers controlled the redistricting process, it was almost equally as certain that the displaced congressman would be a Democrat.

Indeed, Democratic U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan found himself out of a job after the new maps were used in in the 2012 elections. Because of the redrawn districts, Republicans further strengthened their hold on Missouri's congressional delegation while contributing to the GOP's advantage in the U.S. House.

As Missouri's eight members of Congress prepare to seek re-election this year, the effects of redistricting still can be seen. None of the incumbents appear likely to draw a stiff challenge, because they all represent districts tailored to their partisan bents.

Missouri's redistricting results have mirrored what happened nationally.

As a result of victories in the 2010 elections, Republicans controlled a majority of state legislative chambers when it came time to redraw congressional districts based on the latest census figures. In many cases, they redrew maps to concentrate Democrats into a limited number of districts.

Nationally, Democratic candidates for the U.S. House received 1.4 million more votes than their Republican opponents in the 2012 elections, the first under the new districts. Yet Republicans won a 33-seat majority in the U.S. House.

In Missouri, Democrats went from holding three seats to two seats after the 2012 elections, when Missouri's total number of districts dropped from nine to eight because the state's population growth lagged that of the nation. Missouri's redrawn congressional districts were enacted when the Republican-led Legislature got the help of a few urban Democrats to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The two remaining Democratic districts - one in St. Louis, the other stretching from Kansas City eastward into some rural counties - have a higher concentration of Democratic voters than they did previously. The concentration of Republicans in the six other districts was diluted under the new maps but remains strong enough so that all of those districts still tilt toward the GOP.

Republican state Sen. Scott Rupp, who led that chamber's redistricting efforts, said the high concentration of Democrats in the St. Louis district is partly the result of a federal Voting Rights Act prohibition against diluting minority votes. Blacks comprise 49 percent of the voting age population in Missouri's 1st Congressional District, making them a majority over the 43 percent white population.

Rupp said the congressional districts also reflect a "migration of votes across the state," in which Democratic voters have congregated in urban areas while Republicans have spread to the outer suburbs and rural areas.

"That's just how it is. The whole state's red and you have these blue earrings in Kansas City and St. Louis," said Rupp, who lives in the outer St. Louis suburb of Wentzville.

But there were alternatives that could have given Democrats a better chance in congressional elections.

Political science professor David Kimball, of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, testified in 2012 in a lawsuit challenging Missouri's redrawn districts. Although the Supreme Court ultimately disagreed, Kimball believes the districts are unconstitutional because they are not compact enough. He supported an alternative map that would have kept an additional district rooted in the St. Louis area. That might have given Democrats a better shot at winning a third seat.

But Kimball said he doubts redistricting made a dramatic difference on the nation's public policy.

"If Republicans had not had control of the redistricting process in so many states, their majority would have been smaller than it is, but I think they still would have had a majority," Kimball said.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council will address an ordinance Monday on whether to approve of a special August election... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 2:41:00 AM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
MARSHALL - A standoff between Marshall police and an armed man ended without injury. According to a news release,... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:53:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The city of Rocheport honored two men on Sunday whose legacy has stretched across the state of Missouri.... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 7:09:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at the 16th annual Fire Fighters Memorial Service on Sunday. The service was... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 4:05:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking to social media to spread awareness of National Safe Boating Week... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
FULTON - All 6-year-old Sam Santhuff wanted to do was comfort children in the hospital, even though he was there... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, May 20 2018 May 20, 2018 Sunday, May 20, 2018 6:47:00 AM CDT May 20, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released the identities of the three people killed and the two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Children in Columbia have a chance to get paid to play. Columbia Parks and Recreation started its... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:10:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on the crash in Cuba of a passenger jet with 113 people on board (all... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 90 people showed up at the Burr Oak Brewery for an afternoon of puppies, yoga and beer... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 4:50:00 PM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Although it is nowhere near Halloween, some Columbia runners faced their fears by participating in a zombie-themed 5K... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia has been ranked a top-ten affordable college town to live in by realtor.com. Factors... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 10:41:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Mississippi River is above flood stage at several northeast Missouri locations, but forecasters do... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:29:44 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in Continuous News
(CNN) -- And they're married! Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle were wed Saturday at Windsor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 19 2018 May 19, 2018 Saturday, May 19, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT May 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The United states is experiencing one of the lowest birth rates in 30 years, according to the Centers for... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 9:08:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Attorney General Josh Hawley says attorneys helping Gov. Eric Greitens through impeachment proceedings are acting improperly. "By... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 8:34:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The annual Backyard Concert Series kicks off Saturday evening at the Jefferson Landing Historic site. Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:45:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY –Missourians will soon be able to keep a little more money from their paychecks, after a state House... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 18 2018 May 18, 2018 Friday, May 18, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT May 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
7am 65°
8am 66°
9am 69°
10am 71°