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76  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Nevada on: April 28, 2011, 08:02:24 pm
Do we have a zoomed-in map of the Las Vegas area? That looks like a 2-1-1 map (2 D seats in Las Vegas, one R seat in the Vegas suburbs and the bush, one toss-up seat for Reno-Elko), but it's hard to tell without knowing exactly which parts of Vegas are in which seat.

PDF file

Joe Heck gets to keep the 3rd district.

One of the two comically gerrymandered Democratic districts is majority Hispanic, which has already prompted one Latino group to call the plan "an absolute assault".

Why are Hispanic groups pissed about a majority Hispanic district?
77  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / The 2010 Census is so last year. Lets talk 2020! on: April 27, 2011, 05:28:56 pm
One of the most interesting results that I think might come out of the 2020 Census is the potential for states (namely Delaware, Montana, and Rhode Island) with over 1 million residents to be apportioned only 1 Representative in the House.  Does anyone think the potential for this occurrence will cause the House to seriously consider increasing its membership?
78  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Growth in urban areas on: April 20, 2011, 09:24:38 pm
Just comparing 2000 population to 2010 population Charlotte, NC is one of the biggest gainers with about 190,000 new residents.  Fort Worth, TX had a similarly sized gain.  San Antonio, TX added about 180,000.  Austin, TX added over 130,000 and Phoenix added 125,000.  But again, those are all just raw comparisons of 2000 to 2010 without accounting for annexations.  Also, I just took a cursory glance at the top 20 cities so there may be some smaller cities out there that posted bigger gains.
79  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Indiana on: April 20, 2011, 09:12:49 pm
This is a very clean map that accurately reflects Indiana.

When calling some of these seats "marginal" by using 2008 Pres numbers, you're all forgetting something:  2012 Obama isn't going to come anywhere close to the 49% he got in Indiana last time.

Those 7 seats are in the bag for Repubs

I think its hard to judge Indiana based on any recent presidential results including those from 2004 and 2000.  Obama was the first Democrat to make an honest effort there in a while but the McCain campaign was also caught off guard by an all-out offensive in a state that had voted reliably for Republicans in the previous 10 presidential elections.  I think it is definitely possible that Obama wins in Indiana again, especially if he increases his share of the national popular vote.  He's not just going to roll over and hand the state to the Republicans even though that sometimes appears to be his governing "strategy."
80  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: U.S. House Redistricting: Illinois on: April 08, 2011, 04:11:28 pm
Despite what the incumbent Democrats may prefer I can't see any map being made without an additional Hispanic district.  I think the "earmuff" district is going to be history.
81  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Official US 2010 Census Results on: April 02, 2011, 09:15:35 pm
These CD's have lost population:

NY 28, 27, 11, 15, 3, 6, 14
MI 13, 14, 5, 12, 1, 9



OH 11, 1, 10, 17, 9, 6, 5
PA 14, 12, 2, 3
CA 31, 47, 33

IL 1, 4, 2, 9, 17, 7, 5, 10
LA 2, 3

Interesting mix of rural and urban Black-majority districts.  If those figures are right, the only black-majority districts that didn't lose population are NY-10, VA-3, NC-1, FL-17, FL-23, SC-6, GA-4, GA-5, and MD-4, and much of that gain is from non-black population growth.

That adds more credence to the discussion of a new Great Migration in which black Americans are returning to the rising cities of the New South.
82  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Virginia on: March 29, 2011, 11:31:29 pm
Anyone seen these posted online yet?
83  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Official US 2010 Census Results on: March 17, 2011, 05:46:39 pm
Is it possible that there will be 6 majority Hispanic districts?  22.5% of 27 is just over 6 seats.  I'm thinking there will have to be 4 Hispanic districts in the Miami area but I'm not sure that Hispanics are densely populated enough outside of that area to get a 5th or 6th seat elsewhere in the state.
84  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Anybody else discouraged by 2010 results? on: March 13, 2011, 12:41:27 pm
Everyone in Ohio is either moving to Columbus or the Cincinnati suburbs.  Those are the major growth areas in the state.  In Columbus our economy is based on something a little less flighty than he-who-must-not-be-named-in-Ohio.  We have the BUCKEYES!

In all seriousness though, OSU is a major economic force in the region.  Because of the university we actually have some degree of stability in construction employment.  And you would be hard pressed to find many families in Columbus whose employment isn't connected to OSU in some way regardless of what their field is.
85  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Maryland on: February 18, 2011, 12:00:40 am
wow,  That doesn't even look all that bad in comparison to the outgoing map.  Although Maryland has some of the worst looking districts in the country to begin with so almost anything would be an improvement.
86  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: February 10, 2011, 04:29:29 pm
I made this plan with three guidelines;

1. If possible, maintain county lines
2. Population deviation between -75 and +75
3. Try where possible to maintain current 'flavour' of existing districts.

Number two was the most important, and all districts except District 2 meet this criteria.

District 11 is just a simple majority African-American.

Obviously this plan is far from perfect, but it's my starting point, and I'll aim to refine from here. I really dislike Mansfield, and I'm not sure about the Springfield - Columbus district.

Album link in case pics don't load: http://img211.imageshack.us/g/ohiototal.jpg/

This is not a critique since your goal doesn't seem to be party/incumbent favoritism but I don't think Tiberi would like your 12th district very much.  Taking in that much of Franklin County might actually knock him in out in 2012.  The 15th looks like it would probably remain very competitive but I'm not sure I like the Columbus-Springfield connection.  Also, your new 5th is probably a lot more Democratic leaning than the current and could probably be considered competitive in a 2006/2008 type of year.  All the Democrats look safe or comfortable enough to get re-elected.
87  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 28, 2010, 12:58:19 am

Maps of South Florida I made using the the "new estimates" button in the app.  There are two black majority districts and 4 Hispanic majority districts.  Here's the racial breakdown of all 9 that I drew.

FL-17 dark purple (54% Black, 25% Hispanic, 17% White)
FL-18 yellow (58% Hispanic, 34% White, 5% Black)
FL-19  pea green (65% White, 20% Hispanic, 12% Black)
FL-20 light pink (71% White, 19% Hispanic, 6% Black)
FL-21 dark red (57% Hispanic, 32% White, 8% Black)
FL-22 brown (73% White, 14% Hispanic, 10% Black)
FL-23 light blue (53% Black, 27% White, 16% Hispanic)
FL-25 dark pink (61% Hispanic, 29% White, 7% Black)
FL-27 bright green (68% Hispanic, 20% White, 10% Black)

If this map can be made with Dave's app then I'm sure a much more sophisticated map could be made that balances out the Hispanics enough to get four districts that are at least 60% Hispanic assuming the app's population estimates aren't too far removed from the current racial distribution.
88  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: One week from tomorrow on: December 27, 2010, 12:17:05 am
I've heard Obama has been working on a tax overhaul that will supposedly somehow appeal to the tea party rhetoric so I'm interested in seeing how that plays out.  I don't think there is any hope for meaningful immigration or energy legislation.  From the Republican side, I suspect there will be a ton of political posturing via House hearings/investigations and lots of effort put into repealing Obamacare with not much to show for either in the end.
89  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Politics and You on: December 26, 2010, 02:43:49 am
I started getting into politics by watching Stewart and Colbert during my junior year at college and then I branched out to get my political fix from other online sources.  Naturally, I found the Bush administration and Republican leadership to be complete idiots.  I grew up with a love of nature so I found their policies on energy and the environment to be lacking.  I was never exposed to any religious rhetoric regarding homosexuality so I found their nonsensical hatred of gay people completely repugnant.  And, I found the Republican defense of the invasion of Iraq to be completely baseless.  Those were the three major points that led me to become a Democrat in the first place and vote for the first time in 2006. 

I've since found many other points of agreement between my own philosophy and the Democratic platform.  I would probably characterize myself as a pragmatic "latte liberal.  My major issues remain environmental/energy policy and opposition to the agenda of the religious right.  I also favor most Democratic proposed regulations on big business as well as a progressive tax code.  I have moderate/unrepresented beliefs with regards to immigration, social security, and health care.
90  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 25, 2010, 05:18:28 pm
Shouldn't there be a new Hispanic majority district in South Florida?

Problem is there's nowhere for one to go. There have to be two black-majority seats and three Hispanic seats. Also, dilute the Cubans too much and you get Democratic seats. A 55% Hispanic seat in South Florida would probably elect a white Democrat before any Hispanic of either party as whites would control the Democratic primary and Cubans would be outvoted by the combined voting strength of whites and Puerto Ricans/other Hispanics.

I thought someone had posted a previous map which had 4 Hispanic seats in South Florida but perhaps I was mistaken.  I'll have to play around with it myself again.
91  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Texas on: December 25, 2010, 05:16:53 pm

I think this map is a more realistic version of Houston.

Districts 18 and 29 are black and Hispanic, the rest are all fairly strong McCain districts.

I believe that it is now possible to draw two majority Hispanic districts in addition to one black majority district in the Houston area.  Currently the 9th is a minority coalition district so I assume that it will be altered to become Hispanic majority and the remaining area can be cut up to prevent any new Democrats from getting elected.
92  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Florida on: December 25, 2010, 12:35:14 am
Shouldn't there be a new Hispanic majority district in South Florida?
93  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Is It Reasonable To Keep The House at 435 Members? on: December 24, 2010, 01:43:29 am
Rather than using the cube root rule, I think that its better to just say that the average congressional district size cannot exceed the population of the smallest state by more than say 10% or so.  If you divide the population of the fifty states by the population of Wyoming there would be about 544 members of the House.

I think there may be a lot of pressure to increase the number of representatives if Rhode Island loses its 2nd seat or if Montana's population reaches 1 million.  Also, if/when Puerto Rico becomes a state there would also likely be some sort of permanent increase in the size of the House.
94  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: US House Redistricting: Ohio on: December 01, 2010, 02:02:31 am
The current map is already an obscene Republican gerrymander - if they tried to make it any more Republican, they would either run afoul of the VRA or set themselves up for a big reversal if the natinonal environment changed again - which was what happened in 2008.

The GOP challenge in OH is how to deal with the loss of two seats on the current map. Realistically they may have to reduce both one D and one R seat, but the remaining seats can be just as strongly drawn R as they were 10 years ago.

I think its going to be really difficult for the GOP to create a 12R-4D map that would hold for more than one or two elections.  Although the map you've put forth certainly gives the Republicans a huge advantage I think its stretching them a bit too thin in some places.  In a bad GOP year like 2006 or 2008 I could definitely see things ending up as at least 8R-8D or even 7R-9D depending on candidate quality and the number of open seats.  Although it might sting to do it, I think the Republicans would be much better served over the course of 2012-2020 to draw a safe 11-5 map and eliminate two of their incoming freshmen.
95  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which of the following constitutes a "fair" redistricting plan? on: December 01, 2010, 01:40:26 am
I think that too much focus is put on competitiveness when people talk about "fair redistricting."  I much prefer following a simple hierarchy of "communities of interest" as well as established boundaries between populations.  Although I suppose people could have differing viewpoints on what a "community of interest" actually is, I think its the type of thing that could easily be hashed out in a fair way.  When I draw a map I usually keep the following thoughts in mind while also trying to uphold the VRA:

1. Preserve metropolitan areas (as defined by the census bureau) and county lines.  This works particularly well in states with multiple large cities because it essentially subdivides the state into smaller units that can be districted almost independently.  Any counties that are left out of metro areas can be combined to create rural districts or grouped into a nearby metro area to get a whole number of districts without splitting counties.

2. Preserve city and town boundaries (incorporated areas). Within the metro area I typically try not to split cities and towns since they are such strong indicators of community.
3. Preserve townships and census designated places (unincorporated areas).  These can also have strong community identities but often times they're less coherent than the identities of incorporated places. 
4. Use major roads/highways, bodies of water, and other large uninhabited areas as natural dividers when splitting communities.  If it is necessary to divide a city or other central community then these types of lines and gaps are typically good to follow as they are more likely to indicate boundaries between distinct neighborhoods.
96  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App on: November 14, 2010, 01:25:45 am
Version 2.0 of the app has been released. For those of you with bookmarks directly to the app, you'll need to change it to this URL:


It's certainly an interesting change, but it'll take some getting used to.

I'm not sure I really see what's better about this version.  It seems much harder to use than the old version.  There are no city lines anymore and all of the colors are too muted.  Its also impossible to see anything if you're trying to look at the entire state and you have all the voting districts turned on.
97  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 58% of americans favor creation of third party on: September 23, 2010, 10:14:02 pm
a choice between two extremists in the general.

How does the two party system create extremes? The last few elections have been anything but extremists.

Clinton v Dole
Bush v Gore
Bush v Kerry
Obama v McCain

These guys were extremists? More like party hacks.

Presidential primaries are no where near the same as congressional primaries.  In individual congressional races the choices are often between a far right Republican and a far left Democrat.
98  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Ohio Democratic Party Chairman calls Tea Party folks "fu**ers" on: September 22, 2010, 11:53:28 pm
Who gives a f***?  Are we all ten or something?  OMG you said a nawty!  Ima gonna tell teacher on you!
99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 58% of americans favor creation of third party on: September 22, 2010, 01:49:09 am
Can't we just switch to Proportional representation?  It would eliminate this problem entirely.

That's the key, but it's unlikely, because it would require a constitutional amendment, and Republican and Democratic congresspeople are among the least likely to support it.

That's the major problem.  Democrats and Republicans have entrenched the two-party system into election law in order to protect themselves and they are therefore the least likely to support any kind of reform, let alone an amendment to the Constitution.

IMO a much easier reform to pass than a proportional representation would be implementing instant run-off voting.  That's how you'd get independents like Crist and other moderates elected.  It would pull everything back to the center instead of pushing it out to the extremes like the current two-step system where the primaries eliminate the moderates and you end up with a choice between two extremists in the general.  If people don't feel like they're wasting their votes on third parties then they'll be more likely to vote for them.
100  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2012 Redistricting: The States where the most is at stake on: September 20, 2010, 11:44:34 pm

I think OH, IN, AZ, and PA are already Republican gerrymanders and are of course likely to stay that way.  Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

There is an off-chance that OH could end up as a compromise if Democrats are able to hold their slim General Assembly majority.

I'm also holding out hope that GOP candidate for Secretary of State will encourage a fair redistricting process.  Over the past year he has been working towards bipartisan redistricting reform without much success but I'm hoping his presence on the reapportionment board that draws state legislative districts will be moderating.
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