I’ll admit it. I was against changing how we did our redistricting. Perhaps it was fear of change, but ultimately, it didn’t turn out that badly. California has largely sorted itself politically anyway, with progressives on the coast, and more conservative voters inland. Gerrymandering can’t change that, but at the margins, differences can be made.
And while there wasn’t a whole lot of turnover after the 2010 census redistricting that was the first under our new redistricting system, there were a handful of districts that became more competitive. Cook puts the following districts as “competitive”:
|Lean Dem||Toss-up||Lean Rep||Likely Rep|
|CA-07 Bera||CA-49 Issa||CA-10 Denham||CA-21 Valadao|
|CA-24 Carbajal||CA-25 Knight||CA-39 Royce|
Now, that’s just 9 of the 53 California districts that can even be considered competitive. I suppose you never know what will happen given the craziness of the last election and the current administration, but let’s just go with this list.
I actually think Schwarzenegger means well here. Gerrymandering is a problem, to the extent that we have not already sorted ourselves. Where the problem is really acute, and Republicans have drawn themselves outlandishly favorable maps, it will make a difference. And so for that, this is a worthwhile effort.
To be clear, the reason Congress is worse than herpes goes far deeper than gerrymandering. But if Arnold is only going to take on one thing, there are probably worse uses of his time than this.