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Old 02-26-2018, 02:22 PM   #46
Happy Monkey
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Is the goal the center of the randomized grouping, or is the goal zero? R+1.5 is still favoring Republicans, and that 1.5 bonus can translate to an even bigger benefit in actual representation:
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In the average 2016 contest on the new map, Democrats would have carried an average of 8.4 districts (out of 18), even though Democrats won the statewide popular vote in the average contest. The median congressional district favored the Republicans by a point in the average 2016 contest.
Over 50% Democratic voters becomes less than 50% Democratic representatives - with the NEW map.

As I see it, the grouping is the leeway that Republicans would have had when making the map themselves, while still having cover claiming that their advantage was structurally inherent in the urban/rural divide.

But if deliberately designing a map with the intent to minimize partisan advantage, the goal is zero.

If they hadn't pushed for an even more obscene advantage, they could have easily gotten away with R+6 to even R+10. But they forced the court to make the map, instead, and will have to settle for R+1.5.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:11 PM   #47
xoxoxoBruce
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Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
Is the goal the center of the randomized grouping, or is the goal zero?
That's the 64 dollar question.

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In general, partisan balance is not usually a goal when redistricting. You could certainly argue that partisan balance and maximizing the number of competitive districts should be among the criteria, but, in general, they are not. Instead, a nonpartisan map usually means a partisan-blind map. It strives for compact districts that respect communities of interest, with little regard for the partisan outcome.

A decision to pursue partisan balance in Pennsylvania would be particularly significant because Democrats are at a clear geographic disadvantage. They waste a lopsided number of votes in heavily Democratic Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; the Republicans donít waste as many votes in their best areas, and so the rest of the state (and therefore its districts) leans Republican. As a result, a partisan-blind map will tend to favor the Republicans by a notable amount.
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As I see it, the grouping is the leeway that Republicans would have had when making the map themselves, while still having cover claiming that their advantage was structurally inherent in the urban/rural divide.
That claim wouldn't hold up, this is the PA 7th district (where I live), the Republicans created.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:17 PM   #48
Happy Monkey
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That claim wouldn't hold up, this is the PA 7th district (where I live), the Republicans created.
Yes, but if they hadn't been so greedy, and put their map as a whole in the +6 to +10 range, they could have pointed to the simulation evidence and said that they were covered on that metric, and the court might not have gone through, district by district, looking for issues.

(note, this is in the context of when the court asked them to resubmit, after the simulation evidence had been introduced, i I have my timeline right).
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Old 02-26-2018, 08:13 PM   #49
xoxoxoBruce
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This was back in 2010 and probably the worst district in the country. But you're right, if they had been more subtle they wouldn't have become the laughing stock of the country / admired for their chutzpah(depending on which side you're on), and drawn the ire of the courts.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:15 PM   #50
Happy Monkey
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Looks like the new map is in place for this election.
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