As it was in Gov. Gerry’s days, congressional redistricting in most states is designed to serve the party in power and the incumbents who hold seats. Creating compact, sensible districts that serve constituencies is of no concern to those making the decisions.
Not only does the lack of competitive districts protect incumbents, it also contributes to the ideological gulf we are seeing in Washington. Basically, most incumbents in the House retain their seats by appealing to the activist voters in their district — either Democrats or Republicans. For most of these lawmakers, there is no incentive to reach across the aisle or talk about the need to compromise.