Pennsylvania will have 18 representatives in the 113th Congress, 13 Republicans and five Democrats. This may seem surprising because Democrats won the presidency, the Senate and the statewide offices.
The conventional explanation, reiterated by the Post-Gazette recently, is that people split their votes because they are more conservative at the local level. This explanation is wrong because the total number of votes cast for Democratic candidates for Congress in Pennsylvania (2.7 million) was actually larger by about 75,000 than the total number of votes cast for Republican congressional candidates. Nationally, 53.9 million votes have been counted for Democratic House candidates and only 53.4 million for Republican candidates.
The real reason for the disproportionate number of Republican members of Congress is that the congressional districts have been gerrymandered. This essentially disenfranchised Democrats. The fairest distribution of seats would be 216 Republicans and 219 Democrats nationally and nine each in Pennsylvania.
There is likely to be continued gridlock in the federal government. The GOP will undoubtedly say that they have a mandate to continue this gridlock, but they really do not.
The real reason that the GOP has a majority and will be able to continue to play an obstructionist role in Congress is that they have assiduously gerrymandered congressional districts to thwart the majority of Americans
JOHN F. NAGLE