The Original Gerrymander
“Gerrymander” comes from this Massachusetts State Senate district. Approved in 1812 by Governor Gerry, the district was thought to look like a salamander. And thus began one of the great American political traditions…
(No Cook PVI’s back then, but it was drawn to favor the Democratic-Republican Party)
This district is partially due to the odd shape of Maryland itself, which we can blame on the Mason-Dixon line and the Potomac. That being said the district itself is still not very compact. The fact that there are eight districts ranked higher on this list that don’t have an odd state boundary as an excuse is a testament to the artistic abilities of gerrymanders everywhere.
Like a crescent moon, it seems easier to reach the two opposite points by going around the other edge of the circle.
Although it is only connected by a small stretch of beach that apparently isn’t connected at high tide, and although it was specifically designed to pit two Democratic incumbents against each other, it does have the coolest nickname. Ladies and gentlemen, “The Mistake By The Lake”.
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