Blue/Red Divide: Coastal Flooding in Congress
In politics as well as culture, geography is becoming destiny. This month’s election, a study finds, brings New York and California Democrats the highest percentage ever of seats in the House despite continued Tea Party domination of the body.
Blue opposition to John Boehner’s control will be bi-coastal, leaving huge red swaths inland. University of Minnesota analysts note:
“California and New York hold 29.4 percent of seats in the Democratic caucus but just 18.4 percent of U.S. House seats overall for a +11.0-point differential.
“The largest previous differential was seen after the Civil War in 1866 when Democrats from the two states held 25.5 percent of their caucus’ seats and the total representatives from the two states accounted for 15.0 percent of House seats overall.”
Even with its population inequality, the Senate shows similar tendencies. New members from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine will be in the Democratic caucus against Mitch McConnell’s heartland troops.
What is the geographic divide trying to tell us? Gerrymandering aside, how deep is America’s political chasm?