It may not be gerrymandering, but too many voters who are registered as Democrats, vote against their own self interest because of fear or ignorance or just stay home. Republicans always show up in record numbers, but Democrats do not, especially in “off-year” (non-Presidential elections.) I just don’t understand it. It is like pulling teeth. I never see a Republican Ward or Precinct Leader canvasing my Precinct like I do for votes. They will be there at the Polls on election, but I never see them pounding the pavement asking for votes. There are plenty of mailers, flyers and brochures in the mail, on the door knob to my house or hung from my mail box. Why do registered Republicans show up more than Registered Democrats on Election Day or Primary Day? I wish I could find out. If the Democrats show up, we win in my Precinct because we now outnumber them for the first time in history in our township.
Looking at the table in the article, the quote is wrong. It’s more like “If voters who were registered under a party had strictly pulled the party lever corresponding to their party registration, Democrats would have controlled at least 7 seats, Republicans at least 2, and the rest would be determined by the votes of independents and members of third parties.”
Which would be irrelevant anyway. I understand that one could feel betrayed by this Democratic underperformance (or Republican overperformance) relative to party registration, but I worry about this stuff for a living, and the only time I care about party registration is in the primary.
Of course Democrats have to GO OUT + pull those levers on election day! Last November’s Northampton County turnout should keep local Dems up at night, especially going into 2014. Time-tested strategy is drag-and-drop — constant, day-long phone and canvass. What’s stopping us?
I understand the limits of looking at this stuff in terms of party registration. All I want is for politicians in relatively safe seats to start talking up the party. Everybody wants to be an “independent Democrat” nowadays. I’m a liberal who still really likes Barack Obama, but it’s annoying that he can barely bring himself to say the words Democrat or Republican. Watch this JFK response from the Nixon debate, around 15:10. He basically tells people to vote for him because he’s a Democrat, and the Democratic Party has supported x, y, z programs. Decently popular politicians who can afford to ought to rep the party brand more, and encourage people to vote for the whole party.