Once-safe gerrymandered GOP districts get decimated by Trump

Screenshot of Fox News split screen of Karen Handel and Donald Trump.
Rep. Karen Handel, GA-06, represented the GOP‘s most highly educated district.

Democrats have won at least 15 of the 25 GOP-held districts with the highest concentration of college-educated residents, according to Politico. The districts were part of a large swath of mostly suburban seats that were intentionally gerrymandered to be safe Republican, sometimes at the hands of GOP lawmakers and sometimes at the hands of Democrats.

Take two Illinois districts Democrats purposely drew with a concentration of once-GOP-leaning voters—IL-06 and IL-14, represented by Republican Reps. Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren, respectively. Both men lost their re-election bids last week, after the seats hadn’t even been on Democrats’ radar in the last three election cycles.

Another notable Democratic flip is GOP Rep. Karen Handel’s seat in the Atlanta suburbs, where Handel had prevailed just last year in a highly watched special election. “Handel was one of just seven Republicans in the current House whose adult constituents were majority college-educated; there may be just one such member in the next Congress,” writes Politico.

Trump put districts in play that no one on either side of the aisle thought of as targets before he got elected. As Daily Kos reader silver spring noted in a diary, about half of the Democrats’ House pickups came in seats that haven’t elected a Democrat “in a quarter of a century or longer, in some cases, much longer.” That’s pretty extraordinary.

Check out Politico’s list of the GOP’s 25 most highly educated districts.

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