By Scott Tibbs, February 8, 2018
Ever since Trey Hollingsworth was elected to Congress, Leftists in Bloomington have been bitterly complaining that he won a "gerrymandered" district. But here is the dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about: Indiana's Congressional district map is not gerrymandered. Indiana is going to have a majority of Republican legislators because Indiana is a Republican state. That is reality.
All you have to do is look at the Congressional district map to see the districts are not gerrymandered. We have geographically compact districts that follow county lines, with equal populations. Yes, only two Congressional districts are held by Democrats, in the most Democratic areas of the state. That is not because of gerrymandering, but because the rest of the state is heavily Republican. To emphasize this point, examine the 2016 statewide election results:
♣ - Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton 56.5 percent to 37.5 percent.
♣ - Todd Young defeated Evan Bayh 52.1 percent to 42.4 percent.
♣ - Eric Holcomb defeated John Gregg 51.4 percent to 45.4 percent.
Hollingsworth got 54.1 percent of the vote in the Ninth District, but the margins in the districts immediately east and west (also in compact districts that follow county lines) were significantly bigger. Luke Messer got 69.1 percent of the vote, and Larry Bucshon got 63.7 percent of the vote. Basically, other than Monroe County, the southern half of Indiana is a Republican stronghold.
You can draw the Congressional district map for Indiana differently, but Democrats are always going to face a demographic disadvantage in Congressional races in that there are simply more Republicans than Democrats across the state. The same is true in reverse for Democratic states like New York. The fact that Republicans win the Congressional races does not mean that the districts are gerrymandered.
For historical perspective on Congressional districts, see the 2011 Republican map and the 2001 Democratic map. The Democrats drew the 4th District to keep heavily Republican Lawrence County out of Baron Hill's 9th District and John Hostettler's 8th District. To accomplish this, the Democrats used a sliver of Monroe County to put Bedford in the same district as Purdue, but not as Indiana University.
The Republican map is obviously an improvement over the heavily gerrymandered Democratic map of a decade earlier. It is not even close. Republicans need to stop allowing the Democrats to get away with pretending the maps are "gerrymandered" and push back against this meme. It is especially important for Republicans to call out the Democrats for their obscene hypocrisy on gerrymandered maps. President Trump has shown us how to fight back. We need to take that lesson and apply it in Indiana.