Partisan district- drawing may help Republicans in Ohio

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

RICHMOND-Energized Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump means Virginians will have a lot more choices when they pick members to the state House of Delegates this year.

Rather, the number of statehouse seats occupied by Republicans and Democrats closely tracks with the ratio of voters choosing Republican and Democratic statehouse candidates statewide in the 2016 election, taking into account candidates who ran unopposed previous year.

- A map of congressional districts drawn by Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature helped the GOP win almost three more of the state's U.S. House seats than the party otherwise would have won in last year's election, an Associated Press analysis found. That analysis looked only at U.S. House races, while the AP analysis also includes state legislative elections.

University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock said the large number of uncompetitive districts in his home state might be due less to gerrymandering than to naturally segregated demographics, with Democratic-inclined black residents living in different areas than Republican-leaning white voters. Republicans captured 67% of the overall Congressional vote in 2016, but won all four House seats that year.

Part of the reason may be a political climate of costly, negative campaigns that discourages potential candidates, said Beatty, the House minority leader.

Republicans controlled both MI legislative chambers and the governor's office when the maps were redrawn in 2011. In past years, a lack of competition let Republicans pool resources and spend heavily on a handful of competitive districts. Barbuto was in the Legislature the last time lawmakers redrew political boundaries in response to the 2010 census. As of last week, there were 221 Republicans in the New Hampshire House, 170 Democrats and two Libertarians.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Mia Love won that district in November with 54 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Doug Owens.

The analysis measuring the "efficiency gap" shows Kentucky Republicans won about three more seats than they should have given their share of statewide votes.

"My initial reaction when I saw it was that it did not favor our approach", said Joe Maxwell, a former Democratic lieutenant governor who had been chairman of the unsuccessful citizens' commission.

The Associated Press used a version of the efficiency gap formula - developed by a law professor and a public policy researcher- to analyze 2016 results of U.S. House and state House or Assembly elections.

The state's congressional map was deemed unconstitutional and redrawn by order of federal judges in 2016, but legal challenges to redraw state House districts are tied up in appeals. "We met the criteria the Supreme Court required us to meet". A similar analysis in 2014 showed Democrats had a slight advantage in the same districts.

According to the formula, the Utah GOP also won one more Congressional seat than their vote totals would merit.

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