MSNBC anchor Katy Tur on Friday asked if gerrymandering could help break the Republican hold on the U.S. Senate.
"Is gerrymandering something that would help improve the situation? How does that sort of divide promote consensus in the Senate, or even in the House?" Tur asked.
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"Gerrymandering's not going to do anything because in the Senate, we're talking about states. You can't gerrymander states," Washington Post reporter Philip Bump responded.
"Gerrymandering" refers to the deliberate drawing of district lines within a state or other jurisdiction around certain populations so as to give one party or the other lopsided support. As the Constitution guarantees every state two senators, there is no way to gerrymander apportionment of individuals elected to that chamber.
Tur and Bump were discussing the influence of rural voters over urban voters due to this equal allocation, which Tur argued has led to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R., Ky.) historic run of judicial appointments. "Gerrymandering," Bump said, could not change the balance of power—only a change among Democrats can.
"Democrats need to be able to appeal to people in those states," Bump said. "And one of the concerns that a lot of Democrats have is, how do we do that while at the same time effectively representing our more diverse base and our more diverse electorate."