Analysis: NC among most gerrymandered states

Posted May 15, 2014

— North Carolina is among the most gerrymandered states in the U.S., according to an analysis of congressional districts by The Washington Post.

"Contrary to one popular misconception about the practice, the point of gerrymandering isn't to draw yourself a collection of overwhelmingly safe seats," Christopher Ingraham writes in the newspaper's Wonkblog. "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."

Ingraham scored the compactness of each district – how irregular its shape is – by the ratio of the area of the district to the area of a circle with the same perimeter to determine how gerrymandered it is.

North Carolina's 12th District, which meanders along Interstate 85 from Greensboro to Charlotte, ranks as the winner – or loser, depending upon your perspective – as the most gerrymandered district of all 435 U.S. House districts. The 1st District, which covers most of northeastern North Carolina but has tentacles that reach into Durham and down to New Bern, ranks fifth.

Altogether, nine of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts were among the 92 districts nationwide that scored as the most gerrymandered. Only Pennsylvania, with 12, and Texas, with 11, had more districts in that group.

Still, Maryland ranked as the most gerrymandered state, with six of its eight House districts ranked among the most gerrymandered.

Several groups and former lawmakers have challenged the voting maps drawn by the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly in 2011, claiming that district lines were drawn to pack as many black voters as possible into a few districts and that districts split up too many counties and precincts.

The U.S. Department of Justice approved the maps, and judges so far have upheld them.


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  • dahill001 May 19, 2014

    View quoted thread


  • glarg May 16, 2014

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    How many representatives is Durham supposed to get?

    These safe seats were drawn by Democrats to insure their own election. Thats why Mel Watt and GK Butterfield were in Congress in the first place. You cant have it both ways:
    The National Democrat party moved to the far Left. Thats why they couldnt defend seats in moderate districts. You have a choice- if you want competitive districts you'd have to have more blue dog centrists Democrats. But they are a dying species and Nancy Pelosi (D+34 district) chased them out. She has no interest in the Heath Schulers.

    You dont like McIntyre? Too bad- that the kind of candidate you'd get in balanced districts.

  • Atheistinafoxhole May 16, 2014

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    And what would you do to offset the loss of revenue? Would you agree to property tax increases or any tax increases or alternatively, where would you cut spending?

  • Grand Union May 16, 2014

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    Has anyone else noticed that the Right are losing all touch with reality? There is no whirlwind from Obamacare....just noisy wet flatualence from the Right. Its already more popular than unpopular and all the nonsense about death panels has been seen for what it was, lies by desperate liars.
    And since the GOP won in 2010 its hard to give any credability at all for claims that there was any real Democratic gerrymandering in affect then.......
    It is fun to see that the better educated an area is the less likely they are to vote GOP.......

  • goldenosprey May 16, 2014


    You can send him back here! I'm tired of languishing under the non-representation of Herrgott Holding.

    Glarg, your glargument that the districts were drawn by dems doesn't jibe with the fact that Dem congressional candidates received MORE votes than republicans, yet republicans won almost all the seats. And I'm not counting McIntyre as a Dem because there's not a dime's worth of difference between him and your average reactionary republican.

    Why are conservatives afraid of democracy?

  • 12345_here May 16, 2014

    If your support for the mess we have in Gerrymandering is that the other party did it, you have already decided you don't value the rights granted in the US constitution.

  • Thomas Williams May 16, 2014
    user avatar

    For all the Democrats on here whining about the Republican gerrymandering, here is a piece on one of your heroes, Mr. Mel Watt. You people complaining are no more than the pot calling the kettle black.

    Racial gerrymandering

    In 1994, the existence of his (Mel Watt) district was challenged as an instance of racial gerrymandering. The accusation was found to be true, but upheld as "narrowly tailored to further the state's compelling interest in complying with the Voting Rights Act".[30]
    Political campaigns

    In 1992, Watt was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina's newly created 12th Congressional District and became one of only two African American members elected to Congress from North Carolina in the 20th century, the other being Eva M. Clayton.

  • Charlie Watkins May 16, 2014
    user avatar

    If you win you get to draw the lines. It is like using the IRS to hassle your political opponents. Same thing.

  • glarg May 16, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Because the Democrats were so terrible that the voters threw them out. You guys are still reaping the whirlwind from Obamacare.

    Why dont you research these things-
    Mel Watts District was drawn b the DEMOCRATS
    Butterfields District was drawn by the DEMOCRATS

    THe only reason NC is on this list is because of districts drawn by the Democrats and left unchanged by the last commission.

  • James Hawk May 16, 2014
    user avatar

    What is really funny is all of you people on here spatting back and forth for your own side which is what all of them want. If you are arguing amongst yourselves then you have no time to see what they are doing. Neither side cares what you think as long as the special interest groups and lobbiest keep lining those pockets. You pass a bill making all that illegal and you take office for the salary that it pays and watch how many of your GREAT politicians go to the house because they are not interested anymore!!!!!!!!!