According to David Daley, the Republicans realized after Obama won that their party was losing ground and that the only way they could regain that ground fast was through purposeful gerrymandering. So, instead of campaigning and convincing voters of their party’s platform, they took advantage of the post-2010 census redistricting to rig the map to their advantage. It worked. The Republicans are now dominating legislatures and have governors in most states and, of course, Congress. This is not because of their popularity – DJT was only elected by less than 30% the electorate, hardly a majority.
In addition to rigging the map, the Republicans took full advantage of the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by suppressing votes wherever they could. This might’ve led to the “surprising wins” in Wisconsin and other states: People of color who wanted to vote weren’t able to. That’s highly undemocratic.
While several state courts have already struck down some of the gerrymandering attempts as racist, I suspect all of this will get worse. Jeff Sessions has already used the voter fraud ruse to suppress votes, thus as an Attorney General, he is very unlikely to ensure that everybody has access to the voting booth. (It’s a ruse because voter fraud hardly exists.)
I find all this deeply disturbing because it suggests to me that at least those in charge in the Republican party seem to be more interested in obtaining power no matter what than maintaining, let alone improving, our democracy. It is highly immoral.