Why Does Pennsylvania Send So Many Republicans to Congress?

The days of Pennsylvania as a swing state are clearly over—the state just gave its Electoral College votes to a Democrat for the sixth election in a row, and nobody expects that trend to change soon. Given the strength of Democrats in statewide races, then, it’s something of a shock that 13 of the state’s 18 representatives to Congress are Republicans. How’d that happen? Gerrymandering. Daniel Denvir writes: “2,702,901 Pennsylvanians voted to send Democrats to the House, and just 2,627,031 voted for Republican candidates; yet an astonishing 13 of 18 Pennsylvania House seats were won by Republicans. In other words, Democrats won 50.7 percent of the House vote in Pennsylvania, but just 27.7 percent of House seats.” He adds: “This should be a scandal on par with the winner of the presidential popular vote losing thanks to the electoral college. But election reform issues, unfortunately, are boring. If political leaders don’t take the lead (hello, Democrats?), a citizen movement is unlikely to take shape. This anti-democratic Republican advantage is now locked into maps for 10 years.” [City Paper]