In Pennsylvania, Dems Received 381K More Votes, But Republicans Kept Statehouse

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA.Ad Meskens/CC BY 3.0

Pennsylvania Republicans were able to retain power of the state legislature despite earning fewer votes than Democrats.

Despite securing 381,000 fewer votes than Democrats during the 2018 midterm election, Pennsylvania Republicans were able to maintain control of the state legislature in what is becoming a consistent theme in American politics.

According to an analysis by PA Post, there is a discrepancy between seats won in Pennsylvania’s state House, state Senate and congressional races this year compared to votes cast, with the worst gap taking place in state House races.

Carol Kuniholm, co-founder of Fair Districts PA, believes gerrymandered district maps are at the heart of the disparity.

“There’s gerrymandered state legislative districts. We’ve known that. It’s becoming more obvious and needs to be changed,” Kuniholm said.

She said Pennsylvania ranks high for the disparity in legislative votes received vs. legislative seats won.

The disparity helps show why it so difficult for Democrats to gain control of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and that same disparity could influence lawmakers in a looming fight over congressional and state legislative redistricting.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed the state’s congressional district map earlier this year, after having determined it reflected a highly partisan gerrymander; however, maps for the state House and Senate were left intact.

Meanwhile, redistricting fights have taken place all over the country this year. The Washington Post recently pointed to the discrepancy between votes won and seats held in Wisconsin as a sign of gerrymandering in that state.

Read the results of PA Post’s analysis here.