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Texas Makes the Difference

Reported by Eleanor - June 30, 2004 -

On the CNN Judy Woodruff program (June 30, 4:05 p.m. ET), Amy Walter, U.S. House Editor, stated that polls indicate the voters want a change, but only 36 of the 434 seats in Congress "are truly competitive."

Walter went on to say that what might make the difference is whether or not the Democrats can "hold on in Texas."

Comment: Walter failed to explain that Tom Delay got the republican Texas State Legislature to re-district the entire state of Texas in such a way that the new congressional districts will favor Republicans. Using detailed computerized maps, tracking patterns of voting and minority residence, the Republicans took 17 Democratic and 15 Republican congressional districts, and created 10 districts that are overwhelmingly Democratic (all are majority black or Hispanic), and 22 districts that are solidly Republican (and largely exclude minority voters). Thus, for political advantage, taking away 7 democratic seats.

The previous district lines were only a year old and established by a federal court after the 2000 census, but the republicans have the majority in the Texas legislature, and they changed the district lines to influence the national election "because they could." A net change of 12 seats in the current Congress would give the House of Representatives to the Democrats. Delay turned that number into 19 that the Democrats must pick up to win the House. That's the story Walter kept to herself.