Obama Could Have Named Chester County ‘Exhibit A’ in SOTU Gerrymandering Remarks
Chester County received an indirect shoutout by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday, though it was anything but positive.
The callout on gerrymandering — legislatures’ creative redrawing of congressional districts that give one party an unfair advantage — placed a big spotlight on the tentacle-like reaches of the 6th, 7th and 16th districts across Chester County.
“We’ve got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around,” the president said, according to a Philly.com report. “Let a bipartisan group do it.”
The funky, five-county, horseshoe-shaped 7th district, in particular, has become a prime example of the extent of gerrymandering; it made the Washington Post’s list of top 10 offenders nationwide.
“(But) gerrymandering alone doesn’t explain (election) results: in (two) cases Republicans won the seats before redistricting and have generally fielded stronger candidates,” the Philly.com article explained. “The new districts, however, with some more conservative reaches attached, give them a cushion as they try to hold onto moderate territory that would be normally be highly competitive. Democrats might still be able to win under the right circumstances, but Republicans begin with an advantage.”
Read more about suspected gerrymandering in southeastern Pennsylvania on Philly.com here.
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