[Ed. – David Freddoso reacts: Can you at least wait until you have power to declare your intention to abuse it?]
Imagine being a Democrat this November, the morning after this year’s midterm elections. And imagine your heart sinking: Republican gerrymanders held well in key states, and despite making more than a dozen gains, Democrats have failed to take the House.
It’s not the most likely scenario. But if Democrats remain in the minority for the fifth House term in a row, calls for wide-ranging electoral reform could become more prominent within the party. Last summer, Representative Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat who serves an Alexandria-based district in the House, introduced the Fair Representation Act (FRA), a bill that would mandate multimember congressional districts, ban gerrymandering, and require a process in House races by which voters would indicate ranked preferences for multiple candidates in multimember districts to make the chamber more representative of people’s preferences.
Disproportionality in the House—the gap between votes won and seats held—is already striking, and the opportunity for a plurality reversal in the midterms, where one party wins the most votes and another wins the most legislative seats, is relatively high.