So what kind of chance does Clay Aiken really have to upend Republican Renee Ellmers in this November’s Congressional election?
Let’s just say it’s a good thing he’s used to second place.
North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District — which includes all or parts of Lee, Alamance, Chatham, Cumberland, Hoke, Randolph, Moore and Wake counties — is one of the most gerrymandered districts in the United States, according to the Washington Post.
Gerrymandering, of course, is the act of redrawing district boundaries to give political parties an electoral advantage.
Using a complex methodology, the map shows North Carolina to be the most gerrymandered state in the nation. And District 2’s gerrymander score — which favors Republicans — is higher than North Carolina’s state average. In 2011, The Hill published a list of the Top 10 House members who were helped by redistricting in 2010, and Ellmers ranked second on that list after defeating multiple-term incumbent Bob Etheridge by a narrow margin.
According to the Washington Post, “Maryland and North Carolina are home to some of the ugliest districts in the nation among states with at least three Congressional districts. In fact, North Carolina is home to three out of the top 10 most-gerrymandered districts in the country.”
The nation’s most gerrymandered district is North Carolina’s 12th District, a sliver of a district drawn up as a concession by North Carolina’s Republicans to the Democratic party. The Wall Street Journal once called the district “political pornography.”