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Every two years, all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives come up for reelection. Every 10 years, just after the census, each state gets to redraw the congressional districts. This has led to some districts being shaped quite wonky.
Let's take a rough look at the 2012 House Elections.
Republicans: 234 Seats (53%)
Democrats: 201 Seats (47%)
So, Republicans clearly took the house. Since Reps are elected by popular vote, and not by an electoral college, it is reasonable to suspect that the popular vote is fairly close to these percentages when added together.
Popular vote (all districts)
Republicans: 53,822,442 (48.5%)
Democrats: 54,301,095 (48.8%)
But that is not the case. The popular vote suggests that the House should be dead even at 218-217 in either direction. Accounting for margin of error, the Democrats are under represented from anywhere between 15-18 seats. That is a HUGE swing. Because of this, the Republicans were able to continue the stonewall and quagmire tactics that has defined this Congress.
This election cycle we are using the exact same districts. Can we expect different, more accurate results?