RELEASE: CAP Analysis Shows Dramatic Impact of Partisan Gerrymandering

Washington, D.C. — Partisan gerrymandering has unfairly shifted the political majority in an average of 59 congressional districts in each election from 2012 to 2016. That’s the equivalent of shifting all of the House seats in 22 states, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress.

The analysis shows the scope and scale of partisan gerrymandering, in which politicians gather behind computer screens to figure out how they can manipulate district lines to box out their competition and maximize the power of their political party. The shift affected, on average, about 42 million Americans in each election cycle during this period.

Of the 59 seats that, on average, shifted per election due to partisan gerrymandering, 20 shifted in favor of Democrats while nearly twice that number—39—shifted in favor of Republicans. This is because Republicans controlled more state houses in states where partisanship influenced the process. The overall impact of this shift is equivalent to changing all the House members of the 22 smallest states in the country.

CAP has recommended a simple solution to this problem: require each state to draw districts that accurately reflect the political views of the American people. Such “voter-determined districts” are based on the principle that however the voters in a state are divided between the major parties, the districts should be divided in the same way.

Read the column: “The Impact of Partisan Gerrymandering” by Alex Tausanovitch.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at or 202-478-6327.