Pennsylvania’s GOP has been dealt a string of blows over the last few months, starting with losing a gerrymandering case in the state Supreme Court and, last week, losing one of its heavily gerrymandered congressional seats to a Democratic candidate. The state’s Republican filed a final Hail Mary with the U.S. Supreme Court, and it lost. It’s not just bad news for the state GOP, either, but the GOP as a whole.
The U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, has rejected the Pennsylvania GOP’s challenge to the state court’s redistricting ruling. It’s worth recalling this ruling was always a long shot, as the Supreme Court tends to defer state constitutional matters to that state’s Supreme Court. That means that a map drawn in accordance with the state constitution has to be put in place in time for all future elections, including 2018’s.
This doesn’t guarantee a win for the state’s Democratic party in these new districts, of course. But it’s worth looking at the results this map created; in the 2016 races, Republicans got 53% of the vote, and Democrats 45% in Congressional elections, which would mean Pennsylvania, all things being equal, would have sent a slight majority of Republicans to Congress. Instead, the GOP won 13 out of 18 elections, which would normally require 72% of the vote. Add to this the fact that the aforementioned Conor Lamb won the 18th district, which is the old, gerrymandered map, and the Pennsylvania GOP have a much tougher fight on their hands.
(via the Philadelphia Inquirer)