Every Gerrymander Has a Huge Chunk of Nonvoters
Kevin Drum has an interesting post up today of the alleged effect of gerrymandering and the difficulty of removing incumbents from office. The gerrymander nets the Republicans a critical 15-20 seats in the House (at least), but every gerrymandered district always includes a big chunk of nonvoters, the classic apathetic citizen sure that politics has no relevance in their lives.
Challengers can reach out to nonvoters on basic issues of economic populism, and it mystifies me why more don’t take the approach. Can’t get or afford daycare? Wages stuck at nothing for the last five years? You and your spouse both working 50 hours a week with kids because somehow that’s just the way it is? Don’t have healthcare? Can’t find a decent job, even though you’re fully qualified and worked well in the past?
Just convincing single moms you’ll fight like hell for real daycare and at least 3% of any gerrymander in any district would be instantly we wiped out by frantically busy single mothers doing the best they can for their children. They'll register and vote for federal and state subsidized daycare.
It’s one of the greatest political errors of my time to think apathetic little people cannot be inspired and led into the political process. Show them a candidate who fights for them in wages, daycare, healthcare, and employment and they’ll vote for them. Simply committing and investing in the little people in a core political approach will wipe out a gerrymander every time.