-By Ian Millhiser
December 21, 2012- The day after the election last month, ThinkProgress took a preliminary tally of the total number of votes cast for candidates for the House of Representatives. We found that, despite the fact that Republicans won a commanding majority of the seats, the American people cast more than half-a-million votes for Democrats. This number was based on early tallies, however, and it was especially likely to undercount many West Coast states that had less time to count ballots.
More than a month after the election, the Democrats’ popular vote lead expanded significantly. Based on current tallies, Democrats now lead Republicans 59,343,447 to 58,178,393 in total votes cast for their House candidates — meaning that the American people preferred Democrats over Republicans by nearly a full percentage point of the total vote. Yet, despite clearly losing the popular vote, Republicans will control nearly 54 percent of the seats in the House in the 113th Congress.
This disparity between the will of the American people and the actual outcome of the election did not happen by accident — it is largely the product of massive gerrymandering by Republican state officials. President Obama won Pennsylvania by more than 5 points, but Democrats carried only 5 of the state’s 18 congressional seats. Obama won Virginia, and Democrats took 3 of 11 House seats. Obama won Ohio, but Democrats carried only 4 of 16 seats in Ohio’s House delegation. In state after state after state, Republicans used their unconstitutional ability to gerrymander Democratic votes into meaninglessness — and they were able to do so because the conservatives on the Supreme Court refuse to do anything about it.