WASHINGTON — Americans voted for divided government. You hear it all the time in Washington, especially after voters in 2012 re-elected a Democratic president, a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House.
But did they?
In the 2012 election, Democratic candidates for the House got 1.4 million more votes than their Republican opponents, yet the GOP maintained a 33-seat House majority.
Republicans pulled off this rare feat by drawing favorable House districts in key states following the 2010 census, giving the party an edge that GOP candidates will carry again into this year's midterm elections. Six states illustrate their success: Florida, Michigan, Ohio Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
President Barack Obama won all six states in both 2008 and 2012, yet each state has a House delegation dominated by Republicans. Did voters simply split their ballots — voting for a Democrat for president and a Republican for Congress?
The evidence says no.
To help analyze voting patterns, The Associated Press divided the votes from the 2012 presidential election into all 435 congressional districts. In each of these six states, Republican Mitt Romney won more House districts than Obama, even though Obama won the statewide vote.
Nationally, Romney won 17 more House districts than Obama, even though Obama received nearly 5 million more votes.
These six states show how it happened:
Florida vote: Obama, 50 percent; Romney, 49 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 11; Romney, 16.
Michigan vote: Obama, 54 percent; Romney, 45 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 5; Romney, 9
Ohio vote: Obama, 51 percent; Romney, 48 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 4; Romney, 12.
Pennsylvania vote: Obama, 52 percent; Romney, 47 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 5; Romney, 13.
Virginia vote: Obama, 51 percent; Romney, 47 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 4; Romney, 7.
Wisconsin vote: Obama, 53 percent; Romney, 46 percent.
Congressional districts: Obama, 3; Romney, 5.
Associated Press senior research coordinator Cliff Maceda contributed to this report.
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