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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Yale estimates concern for climate change by county on: Today at 12:28:00 pm
Are we talking about magnetic pole shifts, or the poles for Earth's axis of rotation? They are not aligned with each other.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Regions of New Jersey on: April 18, 2015, 09:54:21 pm
When I was living out east in the 1980's, I didn't hear much about Central Jersey. My friend from Princeton clearly identified with the Monmouth-Ocean shore and that was "south". By the 2000's confusion had crept in as the NYC metro was drifting south to include that part of the shore. It doesn't surprise me that it is resolved by the locals defining a Central Jersey.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 18, 2015, 08:16:56 pm
Man, that 26-district NY might be less erose than the 27-district version, but I think that despite that the 27-district map is a better one, since it does a better job of keeping the North Country and Capital Region together (the Schenectady cut-out is still unfortunate though).

Also of course it doesn't matter much to separate out groups within NYC when VRA constraints will make mincemeat of most boundaries there.  

I'm curious about NJ.  Imagine there's not a whole lot of groups you can make happen; NJ just does not tend to play well with the numbers as they currently stand.  Hopefully at least you can still nest the Philly-oriented bits in approximately three districts, like is currently possible.

The Capital Region will have a population too large for one district and too small for a district made up of 3 of the 4 counties in the UCC. A map will either chop a county or fail to pack a CD within the UCC. Since I don't have the county subdivision projections, I'm going with whole counties using 5% as the cutoff to avoid a macrochop.

Without drilling into census tract ACS data I'm not sure that satisfying the VRA will need to hop many county lines. Brooklyn can nest two BVAP-majority CDs within, and current ACS data seems to suggest that will still be true in 2020. Queens-Nassau can create another black CD, and that will be the extent of the VRA for blacks. There may only be one line crossing to make a Latino CD joining Brooklyn and Queens. Bronx will have one Latino CD within and maybe one joining with Manhattan.

The few counties in NJ does make it tough at the UCC level. It would be better if it followed NECTA and worked from cities, towns and boroughs.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 18, 2015, 07:30:06 am
Since there was a request for NY, I'll post that. NY is projected to lose one seat in 2020, but it's on the bubble and would be the next state to get a seat by my projection. So I'll look at NY with both 26 and 27 CDs.

Both plans use 2014 estimates projected to 2020. Whole counties are used and UCC covers are preserved. Districts are within 5% of the quota except in the NYC UCC where the tolerance is 20%.

This is the 26 CD plan and the following areas have multiple districts:

Suffolk 2 (1.94)
Queens 5 (4.92)
Brooklyn 4 (4.19)
Manhattan 6 (5.93)
Buffalo 2 (1.98)


This is the 27 CD plan and the following areas have multiple districts:

Suffolk 2 (2.02)
Queens 5 (5.11)
NYC 10 (9.98)
Buffalo 2 (2.00)


The extra CD allows for a Poughkeepsie district that doesn't have to dip into Westchester and can include Columbia county for Torie. Smiley
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Dave's Redistricting App Screwed? on: April 18, 2015, 06:31:03 am
Years ago when I first tried DRA (version 1?) I found problems with its compatibility on Firefox due to Silverlight. Since Silverlight is a Microsoft product I switched to IE for my DRA browser and I haven't had that problem since, including my test this morning. Over the years I have occasionally found other Silverlight apps that run best on IE, but those are rare.
6  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: %VAP ? on: April 17, 2015, 10:43:20 pm
VAP% is almost always from the last decennial Census since they are explicitly reported for redistricting purposes at all levels of geography. VAP% is not part of the estimate data, but can be gleaned from the American Community Survey which is a statistical sample covering either the last 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years.

Thanks. I'm not exactly clear what you mean about the role of ACS. Could VAP % for 2008 could become rather inaccurate for a state if there had been a great deal of change in population since 2000? Or does the ACS data correct this?

That's right. VAP% including minority fractions will shift over the decade. Estimates are produced for total population. If one wants to estimate VAP% within a unit such as a county, one needs to use the ACS.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 17, 2015, 10:32:08 pm
Muon, when you do get a state done, is it ok if I put it onto a national map?  I have started one up.

Sure, but you'll have to figure out how you want to mark multi-district areas.
8  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: %VAP ? on: April 17, 2015, 08:32:32 am
VAP% is almost always from the last decennial Census since they are explicitly reported for redistricting purposes at all levels of geography. VAP% is not part of the estimate data, but can be gleaned from the American Community Survey which is a statistical sample covering either the last 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I'm on Jeopardy! on: April 16, 2015, 11:47:39 pm
Thanks for the show, and great effort riceowl. I hadn't watched Jeopardy! in years even though I watched it religiously as a kid during Art Fleming's tenure as host. Of course the values are larger now, but I though strategy change was also quite interesting. In the 60's and 70's contestants almost always took categories in order from the low values to the high values, but now the champ was searching for the daily double by hopping to middle values in a column.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 16, 2015, 11:12:21 pm
Anyone planning on cranking the NY county estimates? If NY loses a seat, and most of the population shortfall is north of Orange and Putnam Counties, I see my CD as the one of the chopping block. If fact, if one could email me the spreadsheet, that would be grand.

It's on my list, but it may be a few days.
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 50 Equal States on: April 14, 2015, 06:39:49 am
Well, I guess we can thank you for gerrymandering the new states so that no Democrat could win the presidency.

As much as it may look like it, I had to intention to gerrymander. Some of these could be considered Republican gerrymanders too.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to experiment with this. Many of these uber Dem states here are usually metro areas that are part of more than one state or are part of bigger states. Uber Republican states like Wyoming and Idaho are smaller so therefor its harder to make very Republican states when there's only so much population of very conservative areas. You can easily find uber Dem areas concentrated, but its hard to find as Republican areas (at the same margin of concentrated D areas) even if they're very spread out. Its just how US elections generally turn out now.

As I have suggested over the last decade, the D/R divide is not really about labor/business anymore, it's really become urban/exurban-rural. The Big Sort has driven some of this, but the parties shifting positions have, too. Policies have adapted as to whether they are designed for high density or low density communities where the perceived need to survive in proximity to strangers differs greatly.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: 50 Equal States on: April 13, 2015, 10:02:56 am
The Sacramento metropolitan area as you've drawn it makes no sense.

Do you have a suggestion on a different way to do it?

No, of course not. They never do.

Sometimes they do. I got some helpful feedback on my redivision of the 50 states a couple of years ago. Of course to get the flexibility to make changes, I only required that the states be no less than half nor more than double the average population. You can see the population spread in my treatment of Sacto and the Pacific NW.

Ecotopia (with principal city) and population in millions:
Duwamish (Seattle) 4.7
Chinook (Portland) 3.6
Shasta (Sacramento) 3.6
Ohlone (San Francisco) 9.5


13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Rubio demographic study, polling data, etc for early primary states on: April 13, 2015, 08:18:34 am
My board is up to the challenge. Wink I'll add it to my reading list.

Without reading it, my reaction to the NV SSM-by-age data is probably more about party identification. Middle-aged Pubs are more likely to hold on to their party ID and let their social views evolve with the county. Younger voters are in the process of creating their sense of party ID, and will gravitate to the one that matches their views. So younger voters are more likely to select the GOP if they have views in line with the positions perceived as the core including opposition to SSM.

The anomaly just appears in NV however. NH goes the other way rather dramatically for example. Young Pubs are much more supportive of SSM than older Pubs.

So I would assume they are identifying as Pubs for reasons unrelated to social issues. It seems to be the case the New England Pubs have been working for some time to downplay social issues in their party.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Nate Silver: 2016 is a tossup; most conventional wisdom analysis is flimsy on: April 13, 2015, 08:15:04 am
So I made a graph to disprove the logic of the "but muh 5 out of 6 popular vote wins!"



This graph compares the margin of victory (as defined by Democratic PV% minus Republican PV percentage) on the x axis to the mean of the past six PV margins of victory.

It starts from 1880, as that alllows the past six elections to go back to 1856, the first D vs R election.

The r^2 value is 0.007 (which is basically zero for all intents and purposes). So I'm pretty confident that the successes of Ds in the past few elections doesn't tell us anything meaningful (in and of itself, at least) about their 2016 chances.

But you might protest "1800s are irrelevant for present-day elections! What about recent elections only?" Well, I'm afraid it doesn't get any better. If you were to restrict it to say, post-WWII elections (1948+), the relationship becomes negative. (Of course, that's likely meaningless as well).

Nice graph. It is probably also useful to look at the volatility of the vote, perhaps by plotting the D-R margin, the 6 cycle average, and the standard deviation of the D-R margin during 6 cycles over time.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Rubio demographic study, polling data, etc for early primary states on: April 13, 2015, 07:51:13 am
My board is up to the challenge. Wink I'll add it to my reading list.

Without reading it, my reaction to the NV SSM-by-age data is probably more about party identification. Middle-aged Pubs are more likely to hold on to their party ID and let their social views evolve with the county. Younger voters are in the process of creating their sense of party ID, and will gravitate to the one that matches their views. So younger voters are more likely to select the GOP if they have views in line with the positions perceived as the core including opposition to SSM.
16  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: What will be the "big" Social Issues in 2050? on: April 13, 2015, 07:43:53 am
I think at least another twenty-five years are needed to even attempt a guess, really. Using current trends is fruitless.
Well, 50 years ago, would they have predicted that

Gays
Abortion
Drug Legalization
Discrimination in private stores
Religion

Would be social issues?

The answer is yes.
Few would have predicted fifty years ago in the pre-Stonewall era that gay rights would be an issue. Maybe abortion, but even there many of them probably would have predicted that fight would be over expanding access to something like what many pro-life advocates are trying to restrict access to be from what it is now.

I'm with Ernest here. Let's go through the list as seen in 1965. I was a boy then, and Torie can confirm from his perspective.

Gays. As Ernest notes Stonewall wasn't until 1969, and even then middle America paid almost no attention to it other than as another piece of the countercultural revolution. In 1965 gays were nowhere on the radar.

Abortion. This was an issue in 1965, but the more prominent issue was birth control due to the availability of the pill. The Griswold decision overturning Connecticut's ban on contraceptives happened in 1965. Issues surrounding birth control have been documented throughout human history and there is no reason to expect them to go away in the next 50 years. As some have suggested genetic choices may well replace abortion as the prominent issue, but abortion will still remain.

Drug Legalization. This was a rising issue in 1965 due to the availability of heroin to servicemen in Vietnam. It reached a peak during the 70's then dropped back. Regulation of mood altering substances is, like birth control, a timeless phenomenon. What changes over time is the chemical of focus, with some cycling in and out of the nation's attention.

Discrimination in private stores. In 1965 this was about black-white racial relations and not much else. If someone made a prediction that this would be an issue in 50 years they would have assumed that it was a racial issue only. Yet by the late 80's I heard little debate on the topic. Unless there is a specific group that is newsworthy in the 2060's I don't think it will be an issue. That said, I'll put out my future spin on this, the discriminated group in 50 years will be people without electronic IDs on their person and it will be a privacy vs safety issue.

Religion. Another issue that is as old as recorded history. In 1965 a discussion of this was likely to be about mixed families of different Christian faiths (I come from one). The other big issue then was prayer in school since it was in 1962 that SCOTUS ruled against NY's mandate for prayer. The existence of the Establishment Clause of the 1st amendment insures that religion will continue to be a matter of debate.
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Will Texas ever have more electoral votes than California? on: April 11, 2015, 04:36:21 pm
Not any time in the next 50 years.

I'd say that statement is only about 50-50 to be true.

The estimated rates of growth from the Census since 2010 are 1.0%/year for CA and 1.7%/year for TX. These are compounded rates of growth so the effect is magnified the farther out one goes in the future.

So, if I assume they stay constant going forward then TX will pass CA in 2068. That's 53 years from now and I expect that some of our current posters will live to see that date. There's a lot of demographic and external factors that can impact those growth rates, so I wouldn't put too much credence in them, and shifts can go either way. The projections are so sensitive that if TX grows at 1.8%/year instead of 1.7%/year then it passes CA 10 years sooner in 2058.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-Sen. 2016 Thread: Duckworth in on: April 11, 2015, 02:13:35 pm
Just how articulate and smart is Duckworth? How well informed is she on the issues? That really needs to be factored into any analysis.

The race to compare is the 2006 battle for IL-6. It was an open seat due to the retirement of Henry Hyde. The district had been drifting Dem, especially the northern half, and today it makes up the majority of Duckworth's IL-8.


The race pitted Duckworth against Roskam and the media attention on Duckworth's compelling life story made it the top race in the US that year and the particular focus of the DCCC under Rahm Emanuel. Despite the media attention, money and Dem wave, Roskam won a close contest 51% to 49%. Roskam's superior campaign skills compared to Duckworth were a key factor in the race.

OK, the old IL-06 had a Dem PVI in 2008 of 3%, and Duckworth ran 4 points behind the PVI. That's not enough to close the gap, particularly since Obama probably ran about 4 points or so ahead of the partisan baseline in that area of Illinois due to his favorite son status (maybe offset some by the 2006 Dem wave). So putting aside whatever incumbency advantage Kirk has, he's in trouble based on that indicator. Have Duckworth's skills in you judgment as a politician improved since then, or not?

The IL state PVI is listed as D+8, but most think that is overpriced due to its reliance on the 2008 and 2012 results, both of which featured favorite son Obama at the top of the ticket. The actual PVI could be three points less. So let's assume the state as a whole is D+5.

Incumbency is worth a few points, and three is not a bad estimate, so give that to Kirk. Duckworth doesn't seem to have changed much as a candidate since '06. If she again runs 4 points behind her PVI and Kirk gets 3 points for incumbency then the race starts at R+2. Hillary would need to win nationally by 2 points or more to have enough coattails to carry Duckworth.

You double counted there. If the state PVI is inflated by 3 points, that includes Duckwork's CD (I suspect the PVI was more inflated there because the favorite son boost was more pronounced in the collar counties, but whatever), so its PVI was really even in 2006, and she ran one point behind. So you have a Dem PVI for the state of 5 points, less 3 points for incumbency, less one point for Duckworth, leaving her ahead by one point, if Hillary runs even with the PVI.

I think I misunderstood your reference to the old IL-6. When you said it had a 2008 PVI of D+3, I took that to mean an actual PVI going into the 2008 election. If so, it would not include Obama's win. I now take it that you are referring to Obama's win in IL-06 in 2008. I should have recognized that old IL-6 was about 2 points more Pub than the US in 2004 when I made my statement and there was a D+3 tide in 2006 (53-47 Dem share of the two party vote). That would suggest that Duckworth ran about 2 points behind the national average. Tongue
19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 11, 2015, 10:49:09 am
I don't understand why you ignored the pack rule, but whatever. You can't sever Wyandotte from Johnson County.

Using the pack rule in places like KS and NE guarantees a county chop (in fact a macrochop). The pack penalty and county chop score the same so it should come down to the question of erosity. Calculating erosity in a macrochopped county requires knowledge of the populations of the county subdivisions, since the shape of the chop affects erosity. Thus without county subdivision projections I'll take the penalty point I know versus the point I don't.

Perhaps we can revisit this in June when subdivision projections are released to match the county data. It also requires producing the muni-level maps to assess erosity, which I don't have at present.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Mid-2014 county population estimates out tomorrow, March 26 on: April 11, 2015, 09:22:58 am
Here's a round of projections to the states of the western Great Plains. Neither of the Dakotas will rate a second seat any time soon. However, due to the oil boom the combined population is projected to be slightly less than that of WV in 2020. The other states in this set also project to keep their same CD count.

NE has one multicounty UCC for Omaha and its two counties project to have 1.18 CDs in 2020. To keep whole counties they are split between two counties keeping the UCC cover rule, but ignoring the pack rule given the lack of projection for the county subdivisions. The districts are within 0.5% of the quota, not that I expect that to hold up given the precision of these projections. It's just that easy to get close given the large number of counties with small populations.



KS also has one multicounty UCC for KC and its two counties project to have 1.055 CDs in 2020. As in NE I'll keep the cover rule with whole counties. Again with so many small counties all the districts are within 0.5% of the quota.



OK has two multicounty UCCs, one for OKC and the other for Tulsa. The three county Tulsa UCC
is projected to have 1.006 CDs in 2020 so it is left as a single district. The three county OKC UCC is projected to have 1.57 CDs in 2020 and Oklahoma county is only about 3% over the projected quota. The remaining cover of the OKC district is left slightly under population, so that the remaining districts are all within 1% of the projected quota.



21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-Sen. 2016 Thread: Duckworth in on: April 11, 2015, 04:02:30 am
Just how articulate and smart is Duckworth? How well informed is she on the issues? That really needs to be factored into any analysis.

The race to compare is the 2006 battle for IL-6. It was an open seat due to the retirement of Henry Hyde. The district had been drifting Dem, especially the northern half, and today it makes up the majority of Duckworth's IL-8.

The race pitted Duckworth against Roskam and the media attention on Duckworth's compelling life story made it the top race in the US that year and the particular focus of the DCCC under Rahm Emanuel. Despite the media attention, money and Dem wave, Roskam won a close contest 51% to 49%. Roskam's superior campaign skills compared to Duckworth were a key factor in the race.

OK, the old IL-06 had a Dem PVI in 2008 of 3%, and Duckworth ran 4 points behind the PVI. That's not enough to close the gap, particularly since Obama probably ran about 4 points or so ahead of the partisan baseline in that area of Illinois due to his favorite son status (maybe offset some by the 2006 Dem wave). So putting aside whatever incumbency advantage Kirk has, he's in trouble based on that indicator. Have Duckworth's skills in you judgment as a politician improved since then, or not?

The IL state PVI is listed as D+8, but most think that is overpriced due to its reliance on the 2008 and 2012 results, both of which featured favorite son Obama at the top of the ticket. The actual PVI could be three points less. So let's assume the state as a whole is D+5.

Incumbency is worth a few points, and three is not a bad estimate, so give that to Kirk. Duckworth doesn't seem to have changed much as a candidate since '06. If she again runs 4 points behind her PVI and Kirk gets 3 points for incumbency then the race starts at R+2. Hillary would need to win nationally by 2 points or more to have enough coattails to carry Duckworth.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-Sen. 2016 Thread: Duckworth in on: April 10, 2015, 01:28:47 pm
Just how articulate and smart is Duckworth? How well informed is she on the issues? That really needs to be factored into any analysis.

The race to compare is the 2006 battle for IL-6. It was an open seat due to the retirement of Henry Hyde. The district had been drifting Dem, especially the northern half, and today it makes up the majority of Duckworth's IL-8.




The race pitted Duckworth against Roskam and the media attention on Duckworth's compelling life story made it the top race in the US that year and the particular focus of the DCCC under Rahm Emanuel. Despite the media attention, money and Dem wave, Roskam won a close contest 51% to 49%. Roskam's superior campaign skills compared to Duckworth were a key factor in the race.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Previous Poster's Signature: The Wrath of Khan on: April 09, 2015, 02:05:20 pm
FF poster with the sig of an FF. Makes sense to me.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Should we invade and occupy Bizarro Atlas? on: April 08, 2015, 09:51:26 pm
Before invasion it's important to get a view of the battlefield, and of course that means maps. So I scouted for a thread about redistricting or gerrymandering and found only one thread in the Campaign and Political Reform board. The single post on the thread, which talked about IL, got the first name and years of Gov Dan Walker wrong - a clear sign of an unprepared foe. The map described in the post had a 2% variance, while we have a regiment of mappers who can work down to a 0.5% tolerance. No image is posted and no responses were either. Perhaps they lack our technology to discuss with maps or invoke Dave's Redistricting App. If true then their defenses are weak, and an infiltration with Atlas technology should make for a swift and successful battle.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Yale estimates concern for climate change by county on: April 08, 2015, 08:22:09 am
This seems to be based on a model that looks at states then breaks it down to the county level based on socioeconomic factors instead of polling data. The result is that states will shift relative to each other so that I would not be comfortable comparing counties that border each other across a state line. For instance compare western IA to eastern NE, where I doubt Steve King's constituents are more concerned about climate change than their friends across the Missouri river.
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