Before the election, I highlighted a report arguing that Republican control of state legislatures would end up earning them about 11 seats because of redistricting. The fact that the House total barely budged in a very good year for Democrats nationally — and in which House Democrats won the popular vote — suggests that this probably played a role.
This is especially clear if you take a look at the share of House seats won by Democrats in states where Republican-controlled legislatures redistricted in 2011 and 2012, and compare that to the share of the vote President Obama won.
Utah gave a quarter of its vote to Obama and a quarter of its House seats to Democrats, and New Hampshire sent two Democrats to the House despite Obama’s only having a six-point margin there. But otherwise, these states all sent far fewer Democrats to Congress than the Obama votes would suggest.
Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia and Pennsylvania were the worst offenders. In each case, only a small number of seats from each state went to Democrats despite the fact that Obama won all of them. In Virginia, for instance, 27 percent of seats went to Democrats, while Obama got 52 percent of the vote. In Pennsylvania, 28 percent of seats went to Democrats, and Obama won 53 percent.