Brooks and Capehart on Biden at the G-7 summit, the Justice Department under Trump

David Brooks:

As I would — they would — somebody said, it would take a miracle.

Miracles could happen. And it could happen. But in midterm elections, when one party controls both houses of Congress and the White House, then their records in these first midterms tends to be terrible.

And then there’s the population shift, which we have been hearing about. That, by itself, is probably enough to get the Republicans four or five, six, seven seats. And then there’s the redrawing of the lines. And Republicans just control a lot more state legislatures.

Now, I should say, I’m more focused on population shifts than on gerrymandering, because, while I think these lines, these — the legislatures draw our gross and unwieldy, and it’s the politicians selecting the voters, I don’t think the effect is that big.

In the middle of the 20th century, you had a big effect where Democrats had a natural advantage, because of the way they drew the lines. Then, in the early 20th century, the Republicans had a pretty big effect, maybe 20 more seats than you would think from their vote totals.

But, recently, it’s been a pretty small effect. It’s been in the single digits. So — and that’s in part because half the states, it’s not partisanly drawn. And so…