Congressional District, did not make The Washington Post’s list of the 10 most
gerrymandered congressional districts. But on a scale of essentially 40 to 100,
the 14th, which stretches from Belle Isle to the Bloomfields of
Oakland County, received a rating of 90.
Christopher Ingraham, who writes for the paper’s “Wonkblog”.
“Gerrymandering is at least partly to blame for the lopsided
Republican representation in the House. According to an analysis I did
last year, the Democrats are under-represented by about 18 seats in the
House, relative to their vote share in the 2012 election. The way Republicans
pulled that off was to draw some really, really funky-looking Congressional
“Contrary to one popular misconception about the practice, the
point of gerrymandering isn’t to draw yourself a collection of overwhelmingly
safe seats. Rather, it’s to give your opponents a small number of
safe seats, while drawing yourself a larger number of seats that are not quite
as safe, but that you can expect to win comfortably. Considering this
dynamic, John Sides of The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog has argued convincingly that gerrymandering is not what’s
behind the rising polarization in Congress.
“One good proxy for gerrymandering is the compactness
of a district. To make a long story short and simple, this can be measured by
looking at the relationship between the area of a district and its perimeter.
Districts that follow a generally regular shape tend to be compact, while those
that have a lot of squiggles and offshoots and tentacle-looking protuberances
tend to score poorly on this measure.”
To see an interactive map of all U.S. districts, click here.