The more I think about it, the more this seems to me to be a huge issue. If Republicans want to rescue conservatism from its corrupt image, they might follow Ronald Reagan's advice and tackle it. This last election saw only a few seats change hands. Here's some hard data on the House:

In five midterm elections since World War II - in 1946, 1958, 1966, 1974 and 1994 - the president's party lost more seats in the House than the GOP did this year. The losses in two midterm years were comparable to this year's, while in eight they were smaller. On the Senate side, the president's party lost more seats four times, the same number once and fewer seats 10 times.

The most common comparison to 2006 is 1994, the year of the last "wave" election, when the GOP picked up 55 House seats, nine Senate seats and control of both houses. But political scientists are divided on whether 2006 stacks up to 1994.

Judging by the number of seats gained, 2006 clearly does not, but other figures suggest it does. The average vote received by the Democratic candidate in the nation's 435 congressional districts was 55 percent this year, compared with 51.6 percent for Republicans in 1994, according to Andrew Gelman, a professor at Columbia University.

That should surely have translated into a landslide victory. It didn't because of gerry-mandering. Much of it has recently been done by the GOP, but the Democrats have been complicit in the past as well. With that in mind, here's a bleg. What can feasibly be done about it? Or is the entire system too complicated to be fixable?

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