Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Sunday warned Republicans that fringe elements were causing the party to shrink and it was “just gerrymandering” that allowed the GOP to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2012 elections.
A Republican State Leadership Committee report released earlier this month acknowledged that a “Strategy of Targeting State Legislative Races in 2010 Led to a Republican U.S. House Majority in 2013.”
On Sunday, Scarborough pointed to this as evidence that the Republican Party needed to become more inclusive.
“William F. Buckley in the 1960s at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism,” Scarborough explained to NBC’s David Gregory. “He went after the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand, George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party because it’s getting smaller and smaller.”
“In this debate, we actually have conservative thinkers, talking about Ronald Reagan being a RINO — a Republican in name only — because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff.”
“But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House,” he continued. “We actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races.”
“It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority.”
A post-election analysis by Think Progress’ Ian Millhiser determined that House Democrats actually received almost 1.4 million more votes than House Republicans in 2012, but thanks to partisan gerrymandering, Democrats would have needed to win by 7.25 percentage points to take back control of Congress.
Watch this video from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Jan. 20, 2013.
(h/t: Think Progress)