Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Tyler Cowen

How Democrats Benefit From Republicans' Gerrymandering

The polarization of the two parties ends up favoring socially liberal policies.
Status quo.

Status quo.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

With two gerrymandering cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision last week to throw out the state’s congressional map, it’s worth considering whether less gerrymandering would affect policy in the same way it affects political parties.

When you see the irregularity and arbitrariness of some congressional districts on the map, it’s hard to defend them on grounds of reason or justice. Many commentators portray Republicans as gerrymandering’s big winners: They tend to keep the seats they’ve drawn because the voters who might kick them out have been put into districts the Republicans are not going to win anyway. But don’t assume those electoral victories always boost the long-term policy platform of the Republican Party.