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March 30, 2017, 11:47:49 am
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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Use of non-Census data in redistricting on: Today at 11:33:07 am
HI adjusts its population to remove non-resident military and students. SCOTUS has upheld their plans.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Wisconsin Legislative Redistricting on: March 28, 2017, 09:33:58 pm
What is the criteria for Solid, Lean, and Swing?

60%+
55% to 60%
45% to 55%
40% to 45%
40%-

??

Based on statistics from 2000-2010 Congressional races I use the following divisions:

PVI 0 or 1 tossup. Statistically the parties are equally likely to win in an even national environment.
PVI 2 to 5 competitive. Statistically the majority party will win about 75% of the time.
PVI 6+ uncompetitive. Statistically the majority party will win over 90% of the time.

Translating this to electoral margins in the two party vote one needs to adjust for the national average, since it can add or subtract a few percent. Then using your labels I would say

Swing: up to 51.5%
Lean: 51.5% to 55.5%
Solid: Over 55.5% (note that this is an 11 point margin or better)
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: App to Redraw the States and Change the Electoral Map on: March 27, 2017, 08:26:19 pm
Looking at Timmy's map and Fig's comment, I thought of a challenge. There are a number of criteria, and it may not be possible to meet all of them, but here goes.

1. New states must be contiguous, meaning individual counties are contiguous; AK is contiguous to any county bordering Canada; HI is contiguous to any county bordering the Pacific Ocean.
2. New states must include at least one county from the old state.
3. No old state may have counties in more than three states (two plus the county(s) in 2).
4. No state may have less population than WY in 2010 (564 K).
5. Hillary Clinton wins all the electors.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge - Atlas Group on: March 27, 2017, 11:21:25 am
Going into the final four there have been 14 upset seed wins out of 60 games or 23.3%. That's very close to my expectation of 22% and within the normal range of 19-25%. If you picked the higher seed to win every game so far you would have 820 points and be sitting in third place in Atlas pool.

Picking by seeds would leave 4 number 1 seeds in the Final Four. If you picked the last three games based on the postseason rank in the AP poll (1-Villanova, 2-Gonzaga, 3-Kansas, 6-North Carolina) then you'd have Villanova over Kansas in the final and finish with those same 820 points.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you browse Atlas on your phone? on: March 26, 2017, 09:08:35 pm
I used to, until my phone's IP was banned and no mod was able to get it unbanned. Tongue

If you pm me which one(s) it is I can try to fix that. I've noticed that you use the same mobile service in the same area as one of our more prolific sock masters and you've no doubt been assigned the same IP at different times.
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Could you please say the red in simple English? on: March 26, 2017, 08:15:17 pm
It appears that the red is a direct quote, so I checked and found a link to the WWF page that it came from. Here's the relevant paragraph.

Quote
“We started Earth Hour in 2007 to show leaders that climate change was an issue people cared about. For that symbolic moment to turn into the global movement it is today, is really humbling and speaks volumes about the powerful role of people in issues that affect their lives,” said Siddarth Das, Executive Director, Earth Hour Global. “Every flick of a switch or click on Facebook timelines is a reminder that people see themselves as an integral part of climate action and it is this kind of collective determination we need to tackle the most pressing environmental challenge our planet has ever faced.”

Statements like this may be actual quotes, but they are often quotes written by the staff preparing the full statement, which is then approved by Das. The sentence you questioned is the type of speech I would associate with an educated writer/speaker. It is fairly sophisticated, but isn't quite grammatical. The clause ahead of "is" isn't really a subject of the verb, but it suggests one. It is how a professor might speak to a class.

So I have a question to the original question. Is the intent to simplify the quote to make it easier to translate, or to show an example of how it might be written with less sophisticated language but still be appropriate for a press release?
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How Old Were You When You Joined Atlas? on: March 26, 2017, 11:36:02 am
45 and that was a long time ago. We can now have legitimate posters here who weren't yet born when I joined AF in 2004.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: App to Redraw the States and Change the Electoral Map on: March 26, 2017, 07:53:24 am
I guess the state east of Phoenix is Mesa? But Mesa isn't even in the state! Seems like it should be by county rather than city.

There are three cities that are out of their states due to a larger city in their county. But I didn't measure distances by county here, I measured them from a city within a county to a large city. In the case of Mesa there are three AZ counties whose largest city is closer to Mesa than to either Phoenix or Tucson so Pinal, Gila and Navajo form a state. Similarly Orange CA is the Long Beach state and Denton TX is the Arlington state. Since it's based on travel time, there are times of day that no county would match to Arlington, so I went with a time when at least one county did.
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: App to Redraw the States and Change the Electoral Map on: March 25, 2017, 10:34:37 pm
Here's my variant on largest cities for states. I started with the 51 largest cities by 2015 ranking. Each county is assigned to the closest of these large cities based on the travel time from the largest city in the county. Even with all the large cities assigned to separate states in this scenario, Trump still wins the EC and 29 states.

10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Census population estimates 2011-2019 on: March 23, 2017, 06:34:29 am
I want to see if the (until recently) fast-growing oil counties, like McKenzie and Williams, ND, have started to lose population or are just growing more slowly.

It looks like they are losing:

Quote
North Dakota counties no longer top the list of fastest-growing counties by percentage change.

McKenzie County fell from second-fastest growing by percentage change to 2,858th.
Williams County fell from third to 3,105th.
Mountrail County fell from sixth to 2,375th.
Stark County fell from eighth to 3,103rd.

11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App Screwed? (UPDATE: New DRA Link, v2.5) on: March 22, 2017, 09:14:52 am
DRA 2.2 still works for me in IE from my Win 10 machine.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you been to the previous place? on: March 21, 2017, 10:10:17 pm
I'll be driving right past it next week on my way from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport to my hotel.

Freeport, Bahamas
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever been the victim of a crime? on: March 21, 2017, 10:02:50 pm
I was a victim of attempted cybercrime last year.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas forum leaderboard on: March 21, 2017, 10:01:18 pm
I'm #152. In the 121-150 range are Duke, PBrunsel, Holmes, DC Al Fine, Gass, TDAS, Averroes, Flo, Vosem, Likely Voter, and darthebearnc. Lots of big names I have to pass there.

Only 115 posters are above 10,000 posts. TNVolunteer, realisticidealist, and ClintonianCake are probably all about to pass that.

Now I'm #140. No one who registered after me is ahead of me in post count. Only one, TNVolunteer, even registered the same year as me.

#109. Just behind Griffin. Soon, all of you will surrender!

#97 for me and with ag at #95 and only 47 posts ahead, I expect to move up within a month. However, my pace isn't going to get me into the upper ranks any time soon.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe your state legislative district/districts on: March 21, 2017, 06:59:58 am
The city of Sequim, where I went to high school, is a historically agricultural community that's quickly eroding into strip malls and planned communities as property developers are given pretty much free reign. The town has a heavy retiree population, as well.

At least it still has its lovely lavender fields which I visited in 2015.
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: District Court, Splitting 2-1, Finds Texas Congressional Districts Violate VRA on: March 20, 2017, 11:11:59 pm
We leave TX-16, TX-20, and TX-23 alone.

For the Corpus Christi district: Nueces, Aransas, San Patricio, Kleberg, Jim Wells, Duval, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Kenedy, and Willacy + ?? (the addition of Duval, Jim Hogg, and Brooks keeps the Hispanic population up and reduces the population needed from  Cameron OR gives us the option to go into Hidalgo, which has population further north. And Jim Hogg, Brooks, and Duval are more oriented towards Corpus Christi than the Rio Grande Valley.

All of Cameron + some of Hidalgo.

Remainder of Hidalgo, Starr, Zapata, Webb, La Salle (part, no change), McMullen, and Atascosa.

Bexar part of TX-35 and TX-28 plus Wilson, Guadeloupe, Karnes, Live Oak, and Bee.

Transfer the TX-35 parts of Comal and Hays to TX-21 and balance by moving part of TX-21 Travis to TX-35.

Move Wharton, Matagorda, Jackson, Calhoun, Victoria, Refugio, Goliad, Lavaca, Dewitt, and Gonzales to TX-10, and the Travis part of TX-10 to Travis.

use Caldwell and Bastrop for population balance.

TX-10, 15, 21, 27, 28, 34, and 35 are the only districts changes and none can currently be considered compact.

I split Hidalgo such that Edinburg, Pharr, and McAllen were in different districts. The Corpus Christi district would be 65.2% HVAP, 57.6% SSRV, and 52.3% Obama '08. That last number is cutting it pretty close. One would have to check other statewide elections to see if it provides a suitable opportunity.

Will there be enough Latino population in your new 35 to provide an opportunity?
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Wisconsin Legislative Redistricting on: March 20, 2017, 09:15:47 pm
Do we know whether Wisconsin updated their VTD's during the 2000's?

Clearly they add new wards as annexations happen, but I haven't seen anything that shows a change in the existing wards during the decade.

They would have updated wards in 2001 or 2002.

But the Census Bureau only uses VTD's for the Census. Moreover, the meaning of VTD's is up to each state, including whether they are delineated at all. The district court opinion says that the Wisconsin legislature deviated from past practice by redistricting prior to re-warding. But if they had re-warded after the census, then there would not have been any use of the VTD's. And with block data available there is no real reason to use VTD's.

OK I found some stuff:

Legislative Technology Services Bureau - Data Library

What does DRA use?  Where is Waukesha "36"? On the southwest corner or on the west side?


Waukesha 36 in DRA is the southwesternmost ward. DRA has 38 wards for Waukesha. 14 is the hardest to find as it appears a smattering of blocks otherwise surrounded by Pewaukee 7. The city borders in DRA extend beyond the city wards in many places, and I assume this is an area where there were annexations between the time of the ward shapefiles and the city/town lines file.

My plan put all but wards 1 through 4 in AD 33, while wards 1 - 4 attach to Brookfield city and town and Elm Grove village in AD 31.
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you been to the previous place? on: March 20, 2017, 08:00:28 pm
The county, or the former independent city? Either way, no, but I may get there in June.

The Principality of Monaco
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge - Atlas Group on: March 20, 2017, 07:24:02 am
Do you guys think I still have a chance(my bracket is Oregon will Win)

If Oregon wins then it's very likely your bracket will win. Picking the champion gives you an extra 320 points compared to those who don't. There's also the guaranteed 160 that will at least match anyone who didn't pick Oregon in the semifinals. So unless you fall more than 320 points behind the leaders, you have a chance with Oregon.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge - Atlas Group on: March 19, 2017, 10:51:11 pm
After 6/32 = 18% upsets in round 1, there were 4/16 upsets in round 2, for an overall upset rate of 21%. That's basically right on the average.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you been to the previous place? on: March 19, 2017, 10:27:55 pm
Many times from the Black Hills to Sioux Falls to the Corn Palace in between.

Nantucket, MA

22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Wisconsin Legislative Redistricting on: March 19, 2017, 06:20:34 pm
Do we know whether Wisconsin updated their VTD's during the 2000's?

Clearly they add new wards as annexations happen, but I haven't seen anything that shows a change in the existing wards during the decade.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge - Atlas Group on: March 19, 2017, 07:22:38 am
I glanced over at the leaderboard for the full ESPN challenge, which has 18.8 million entries this year. The top score is 470 out of 480, so there are no perfect brackets at ESPN after 40 games despite the huge pool of entries. Statistically it's really that hard.

Just consider the 1 seeds. They don't lose in the first round so those 4 games are easy to pick. Let's assume that there is a 1 in 6 chance that a 1 seed would be upset in the second round (the actual chance is pretty close at 85%), which means that the 1 seed wins 5/6 of the time. The chance that all four win the second round is (5/6)^4 or about 48%. That means there about an even chance that at least one of those top seeds will be upset. The best brackets would play the odds that each would advance, but over half the time that strategy loses. Guessing at one number one seed to lose may make some sense, but there's only a 1 in 4 chance of getting the right loser, so over all a bracket with one loser in this scenario will be right less than 10% of the time.

Picking the opponent for those number one seeds is tough, too. The 8-9 game in the first round is basically a toss up. So there is a (1/2)*(1/2)*(1/2)*(1/2) = 1/16 = 6% chance of getting them right.   Combine that with the probabilities for the second round match up and the chance of getting the first and second round winners of the 1-8-9 games (12 games) is down to about 4% or 1 in 25.

If each set of 12 games at the second round was equally hard, then the odds of a perfect bracket after the second round would be about 1 in 300K. But the other games don't have the gimme of a 1-16 match up, so the odds balloon to the point where none of the 18 million got it.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESPN March Madness Bracket Challenge - Atlas Group on: March 18, 2017, 10:56:03 pm
With 2 upsets today the overall average moves to 20%, very close to my expected average.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Describe your state legislative district/districts on: March 18, 2017, 10:50:36 pm
Alas the district doesn't include the town of Readfield. I have fond memories of Kents Hill in 1979-1981. A close friend of mine from college took a teaching position at the school and I had a couple of visits there from my grad school outside of Boston. I stayed at a guest house with a fabulous view of one of the many ponds in the area. Later that same decade my wife-to-be and I liked to come up and visit the shops of Old Hallowell, which also is just outside your district.
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