Katy Tur Fears ‘Gerrymandering’ Helping Republicans Win Senate Seats

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Still lamenting the Republican majority in the Senate acquitting President Trump in the impeachment trial, on Friday, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur touted how more people voted for the senators who supported conviction and bizarrely feared that “gerrymandering” was somehow helping the GOP win so many Senate seats.  

“In case you missed it, majority doesn’t always rule in this country,” Tur whined in the 2:00 p.m. ET hour. Relying on a Washington Post article, she then explained her declaration: “Forty-eight senators voted to remove the President from office. Fifty-two voted to acquit. But the 48 actually represent 12 million more voters than the senators who decided to keep Donald Trump in the White House.”

 

 

Tur brought on Post political reporter Philip Bump to continue to promote the piece: “Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators – I mean, 12 million more voters, that’s a lot.” Bump replied in part that “you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.”

It’s unclear how Bump divined that people voted those senators into office with the express desire that they overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Minutes later, Tur wondered what could be done to prevent Republicans from winning statewide elections for U.S. Senate seats across the country: “So what’s the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is – how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?”

Bump was forced to awkwardly correct her and explain the obvious: “Well, I mean, the only resolution – gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we’re talking about states, right? You can’t gerrymander states.” He then delivered more tough news: “The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states.”

In other words, Democrats have to actually win elections in order to gain power – how unfair!

Here is a transcript of the February 7 segment:

2:38 PM ET

KATY TUR: In case you missed it, majority doesn’t always rule in this country. Forty-eight senators voted to remove the President from office. Fifty-two voted to acquit. But the 48 actually represent 12 million more voters than the senators who decided to keep Donald Trump in the White House.

We’re not arguing that a simple majority of the population should decide whether to remove an impeached a president from office. That is not in the Constitution. But it does serve to highlight a broad trend in our politics, the outsized influence of rural voters over those concentrated in the cities and suburbs.

Joining me now, the Washington Post political reporter who pulled those numbers, Philip Bump.

Alright, so impeachment is an example of this. The 48 senators – I mean, 12 million more voters, that’s a lot.

PHILIP BUMP: Yeah. And this is votes, this isn’t population. I think that’s important to note because part of what inspired me to actually do this calculation is Trump and his team were always saying what about the will of these 63 million people who voted for him? Which is a fair point.

TUR: Yeah.

BUMP: But then by contrast, you had of course the voters who supported Hillary Clinton, speaking of the –

TUR: Sixty-five million.

BUMP: Exactly, that discrepancy. But then you had the 69 million who actually supported senators who wanted to see him removed from office.

(...)

2:41 PM ET

TUR: It’s also – when you look at judges and the way judges have been appointed. Not only the judges that Donald Trump has appointed since he’s been in office. The judges that were not appointed when President Obama was in office, I'm thinking very – I’m thinking of Merrick Garland in particular.

BUMP: Right. Yeah, no, exactly. What Mitch McConnell has done is he’s exacerbated the problem by weaponizing it, right? So he recognizes that he has this power to act as a check, to use this minority population as a check on what the rest of the country is doing. I mean, the example I use is Brett Kavanaugh. Who Brett Kavanaugh was appointed by a president who lost the popular vote and he was confirmed by a Senate which represented less than half the country, right? I mean, that is a stark example, and it’s one that Mitch McConnell has use repeatedly to act in contrast to the House.

TUR: It’s a bit of a kerfuffle.

BUMP: It is, it is. It’s a bit of a conundrum.  

TUR: So what’s the resolution to that? Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? Is – how does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate or even in the House?

BUMP: Well, I mean, the only resolution – gerrymandering is not going to do anything because in the Senate we’re talking about states, right? You can’t gerrymander states. The only solution is for Democrats to appeal to voters in those states, right?

And so, one of the things we see, one of the contrasts in American politics right now, is that Republicans are much more conservative than are Democrats liberal. Democrats are getting more liberal over time. But Democrats need to be able to appeal to people in those states, and one of the concerns that a lot of Democrats have is how do we do that well while at the same time effectively representing our more diverse base and our more diverse electorate?

(...)

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