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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 11:33:22 pm
^ The Virginia Public Access Project has precinct-level results.

Very nice. Of course it helps that VA doesn't have too many precincts. It looks like my county of less than 1 million has more precincts than the whole state of VA.
2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 10:49:27 pm
My submission for VA. My CD3 is 50.6% BVAP








How did you get the Warner-Gillespie numbers for the CDs with chopped counties/cities?
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 10:46:41 pm
I just want to remind the commissioners (and alternates) to vote on the three items before them. I'll continue with detailed implementation items after this basic outline is agreed to.
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 03:12:32 pm
I approve of the three items; and commend the excellent work on the part of angrygreatness!  Btw, Electionsguy should probably be added to the commission since I believe Dixie (a Republican commissioner) said he was leaving the forum permanently last night.

I see Dixie has just posted a departure thread on FC, so that would seem to confirm your statement. Unless I hear otherwise in the next day, I will replace Dixie. That moves ElectionsGuy onto the commission and you (X) to first alternate. I've drawn SLCValleyMan as the new second alternate.
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Hoodies vs. fedoras on: November 25, 2014, 02:06:13 pm
I have to go with fedora, but then I'm rarely outside without a hat. Plus I own a couple of fedoras that get occasional use. I am also an old.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 10:48:02 am
Muon2, are you going to use the state highway chop count as a proxy to measure erosity? Do highway chops within chopped counties count for this category?  Is there going to be some pareto optimality metric?

The Pareto optimality provision is embodied in item 3 above. It accepts all maps that are on the Pareto frontier defined by chop and erosity scores. Inequality is used to reduce the number of maps that would be at the same point on the frontier.

I have spent a bit of time analyzing my earlier work on erosity. At the county level, I will propose the cut set of state highways that we have looked at before. I have some suggested refinements for mega-chopped counties such as Fairfax so that erosity is reduced in heavily populated areas where state highways are no longer the best metric. There will also be some discussion about what constitutes connectivity in the Hampton Roads area and I'm working on a primer to facilitate that. There may also be some amendments proposed to deal with independent cities that were forced by statute to take over some of their state highways.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 08:11:08 am
    Here's my initial Virginia map.







    District 1 (Blue)
    • Deviation: 290
    • Election 2008: John McCain - 54.4%, Barack Obama - 44.7%
    • Racial Breakdown: 73% White, 15.3% Black, 6.2% Hispanic

    District 2 (Green)
    • Deviation: -422
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 49.8%, John McCain - 49.4%
    • Racial Breakdown: 62.6% White, 23.3% Black, 5.9% Hispanic

    District 3 (Purple)
    • Deviation: -30
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 64%, John McCain - 35.2%
    • Racial Breakdown: 48.8% White, 35.2% Black, 5.9% Hispanic

    District 4 (Red)
    • Deviation: 83
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 67.6%, John McCain - 31.7%
    • Racial Breakdown: 51.8% Black, 39.3% White, 5.2% Hispanic

    District 5 (Yellow)
    • Deviation: -903
    • Election 2008: John McCain - 51.2%, Barack Obama - 47.8%
    • Racial Breakdown: 71.7% White, 21.5% Black

    District 6 (Teal)
    • Deviation: 586
    • Election 2008: John McCain - 56.4%, Barack Obama - 42.5%
    • Racial Breakdown: 83.9% White, 7.9% Black, 5.1% Hispanic

    District 7 (Silver)
    • Deviation: 352
    • Election 2008: John McCain - 57.9%, Barack Obama - 41.3%
    • Racial Breakdown: 76.2% White, 13.1% Black

    District 8 (Slate Blue)
    • Deviation: 384
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 68.2%, John McCain - 30.9%
    • Racial Breakdown: 52.8% White, 12.9% Black, 18.2% Hispanic 19.7%, 11.5% Asian

    District 9 (Light Blue)
    • Deviation: 501
    • Election 2008: John McCain - 59.5%, Barack Obama - 39.1%
    • Racial Breakdown: 91.8% White

    District 10 (Pink)
    • Deviation: -219
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 57.4%, John McCain - 41.9%
    • Racial Breakdown: 61.4% White, 6.2% Black, 11.6% Hispanic, 17.3% Asian

    District 11 (Light Green)
    • Deviation: -624
    • Election 2008: Barack Obama - 58%, John McCain - 41.3%
    • Racial Breakdown: 51.3% White, 14.8% Black, 18.2% Hispanic, 12% Asian


    Things I like about my map:
    -District 6 is pretty much just Shenandoah Valley + Roanoke, making a very clean CoI
    -Clean Majority-Minority district (VA-03), along with a black majority district (VA-04)
    -Very few splits around Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Newport area. Most maps I've seen cut this area to shreds.
    -5 Solid Democratic districts, 4 Solid Republican districts, 2 competitive Districts (VA-02 and VA-05)

    Dislikes:
    -I'd like to keep Richmond whole, but doing so would force multiple splits around Chesapeake Bay in order to form a majority-black district.
    -More county splits than probably necessary.[/list]

    Nice work, particularly describing your pros and cons. Some of those, like county chops, should become quantified once the scoring system is approved. Normally a commission wouldn't take submissions until all the rules are approved, but in a crowdsourcing environment, submissions will happen as soon as web links are up. However, if item 1 is adopted, you'll need to resubmit your detail maps with City/Town lines turned on to be considered by the commission. Chops of municipalities within counties will be proposed as part of the measures, so they need to be assessed.
    8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 07:52:38 am
    Fuzzy approves.

    Is this your vote? If so, are you voting on all three items before the commission?
    9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 12:18:46 am
    The final item for the commission's consideration at this time is the basic format of the criteria used to evaluate plans and their application. Once the basic format is approved the commission will be presented with details on how to implement each of the criteria. I've tried to keep the basic structure relatively simple (including a mnemonic) and applicable to any state, so that details can be adapted to different states this and future commissions might address.

    Item 3. Criteria to evaluate plans - muon2's SPICE system. Plans shall be evaluated with five measures: two political measures, one demographic measure, and two geographic measures as follows.

    Political measures

    SKEW: the amount that a redistricting plan favors one party over another compared to the natural leanings of the state.

    POLARIZATION: the number of districts that are uncompetitive for one of the major parties.

    Demographic measures

    INEQUALITY: the amount of population variance among districts.

    Geographic measures

    CHOP: the number of geographic communities of interest, such as political subdivisions, divided by separate districts.

    EROSITY: the amount of irregularity of district boundaries based on the separation of connected population centers into different districts.

    Use of measures

    Measures are set up so that low scores are more desirable. A plan is discarded if it exceeds the maximum allowed INEQUALITY, CHOP, or EROSITY. A plan is discarded if another plan has a lower CHOP while not increasing EROSITY. A plan is discarded if another plan has a lower EROSITY while not increasing CHOP. A plan is discarded if another plan has a lower INEQUALITY with equal CHOP and EROSITY.

    Political measures may be used to judge between plans, but are not used to invalidate them before final selection by the commission.
    10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 25, 2014, 12:07:27 am
    A vote is also needed for the application of the VRA. I propose the same period for discussion and voting as for item 1.

    Item 2. Application of the Voting Rights Act. Each submitted plan must comply with the VRA. At least one CD must be drawn so that the black minority has the opportunity to elect the candidate of its choice. This can be accomplished by providing a district that has 50%+1 BVAP. If no district has 50%+1 BVAP then the person submitting the plan must provide a statement to show that in at least one CD the black minority is likely to succeed in electing the representative of its choice. The submission must provide a statement as to why the identified VRA CD has not used race as the predominant factor, which was found to be the case for CD 3 in Page v. Va State Bd of Elec shown below. The commission may reject any submission that fails to meet the VRA by majority vote.

    11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 24, 2014, 11:30:41 pm
    VA wins the tie breaker. The first vote for the commission to take is to approve the format of submissions. I would like to set Wednesday night 11/26 11:59 pm EST to conclude voting and discussion.

    Item 1. Choice of software and format. Plans shall be developed with Dave's Redistricting App using VA 2010 census data with Voting Age Population and City/Town lines enabled. Plans shall provide 11 CDs and for each CD list the Deviation, Black Voting Age Population (BVAP) in percent, and the President 2008 results in percent. Plans must include a statewide map with City/Town lines off, and zoom views for the Fairfax county area and any other area where the division of counties is difficult to see from the statewide view with City/Town lines on. Exceptions to the submission format may be granted by a majority vote of the commission.
    12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 Senate results by CD on: November 24, 2014, 04:44:13 pm
    Does anyone have any info on Illinois?

    The counties' deadline to officially send results to the state is tomorrow, and the State Board of Elections will meet on Sun to certify the results. However, that won't help this thread. The BoE will post the complete state results, but they won't break down a race other than by county. It's up to interested parties to reconstruct the precinct totals by some other delimiter such as CDs. When, you think about it, it's hard to justify staff time for a task that's basically of interest only to election junkies.
    13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever seen a ... on: November 24, 2014, 01:36:09 pm
    Since there are 7 symbols and 7 positions with 7 possible combinations that match the chance that any one combination is a match is 1 in 117,649. The left position changes about once a second, the the rate of change drops to the right, so that there are approximately 2 combinations each second. The mean time to see a match is about 16 hours.

    I haven't watched long enough so I voted none.

    If you pay attention each gif is actually the same cycle of images, with the far left image changing every second, the next image changing every other second, the third changing every three seconds, etc. The whole thing should cycle back to the seven clovers every 5880 seconds but I don't know how to do the math to check if/when specific combinations of symbols would occur

    I see that now. However when I first posted the flips were not synchronized, but now they are. I don't know if it was my service or the reboot of this 4-year old laptop that made the difference.

    Correction, now I see them as almost synchronized, so that the left one changes a moment before the next one to the right set to change does. The flips are short enough that it still holds the pattern for most of the second. When I was made my earlier post the synch was far enough off that the pattern for that second didn't hold.

    Now it's the second tile that's first to flip. Hmm. I have less than perfect synchronization.

    If they are synched the number of combinations should be (3*4*5*7)*7 = 2940 or a repeat every 49 minutes. That's a lot smaller than the number of possible displays if taken randomly. Since it starts at all cloverleafs and the last step must be all sevens, those two patterns must come up. The relative primes in the sequence should prevent other patterns that are all the same (except when there are synch problems).
    14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 24, 2014, 12:55:57 am
    Great to see so many lobsters. They'll get to submit their plans to the commission, too.

    Once the state is selected (yes it's still tied by my count), the commission will have to vote on the criteria to produce a map.

    My thoughts on commission votes is that it takes 3 votes to pass the commission. The alternates may vote, but their votes will only count if one or two commissioners fails to vote on a matter before the commission. In the spirit of crowdsourcing the final product, other posters may urge the commission to vote in a particular way during the discussion/voting period. Commissioners can vote at any time during the discussion/voting period and the vote can be changed, with only the last vote counted.
    15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever seen a ... on: November 23, 2014, 08:00:34 pm
    Since there are 7 symbols and 7 positions with 7 possible combinations that match the chance that any one combination is a match is 1 in 117,649. The left position changes about once a second, the the rate of change drops to the right, so that there are approximately 2 combinations each second. The mean time to see a match is about 16 hours.

    I haven't watched long enough so I voted none.
    16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 23, 2014, 02:42:54 pm
    The commissioners are

    Morgieb
    Miles
    Fuzzybigfoot
    Dixie
    Del Tachi

    and the alternates are

    ElectionsGuy
    X

    I still need some tie breaking votes for the state (WI or VA).
    17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maximizing geography of losing candidates on: November 22, 2014, 08:06:48 pm
    Perhaps the confusion was mine. Is your OP about percentage margin or vote margin? When margin is used without an adjective it usually means vote margin. Your revised MN map suggests that you mean percentage margin.

    Yes, sorry: I meant percentage margin. I figured that would be more realistic for such a scenario (relatively speaking).

    I also went with your statement in the OP of the overall problem.

    Analyze a county-by-county election result for a 2014 gubernatorial or senatorial contest, and without changing the overall result, maximize the number of counties the losing candidate won without pushing them over the top.

    I took your statement that followed the quote to be your method, rather than the problem itself. As clarified, the problem becomes a brute force math exercise of moving through the sequence of counties from narrowest to widest percentage. My math solves the problem in the quote above, but not by a percentage margin basis, nor by your sequence. It creates the opportunity to explore individual county results with especially large vote margins.
    18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maximizing geography of losing candidates on: November 22, 2014, 07:44:57 pm
    Is there another combination of Ramsey + something smaller that also holds for Dayton? Hennepin supplied about 60K more votes than needed.

    Maybe I'm not following, but the general idea was to flip each county based on the margin of victory for the winning candidate, starting with the counties with the smallest margins of victory and ascending from there. The secondary goal is to see how many counties that would result in the losing candidate winning, while still ultimately losing, but keeping the counties that flip in line with that first goal was the idea.

    However, I just realized that I messed up Minnesota by flipping Cook County and St Louis County, both of which had larger margins of victory for Dayton than Hennepin. Unfortunately, after subtracting these from Johnson's total and then adding Hennepin in, Johnson would be ahead by 20,000 or so, so this is the actual map based on the criteria I outlined instead:

    Mark Dayton 989,100 49.43%
    Jeff Johnson 904,543 45.21%



    Perhaps the confusion was mine. Is your OP about percentage margin or vote margin? When margin is used without an adjective it usually means vote margin. Your revised MN map suggests that you mean percentage margin.
    19  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maximizing geography of losing candidates on: November 22, 2014, 07:14:51 pm
    Mathematically, there is an equivalent, simpler procedure. Take the margin of victory for the loser in those counties won by the loser, call it L. Count the number of counties won by the winner, call it C. L+C is the winning margin for the loser if all of the winner's counties just flipped to the loser by one vote. To solve the problem select the smallest number of counties that voted for the winner (n < C), such that the total margin of victory w in those counties is greater than L+C-n.

    Since C and n are generally going to be small compared to the difference between w and L they can be usually be neglected. Then the problem simplifies to finding the smallest set of counties that gives a value for w that is larger than L.

    For example, for IA Gov, Hatch only won Johnson county and the margin was 10,568 (Politico). Branstad won the other 98 counties. The only county Branstad won by more than that was Scott, with a margin of 15,073 (Woodbury was just short with 10,245). So flipping all other counties except Scott to Hatch would give Branstad a margin of 15,073 - (10,568 + 98 - 1) = 4,408.

    Very interesting! Now I'll just have to read it over about seven more times before I get it, since I'm so bad with equations. Tongue

    It's really not very complicated if you don't think about the totals but only the margin between the candidates. Smiley The loser has a fixed total margin in the counties won by the loser. Each county flipped adds one to the margin for the loser. To keep the winner in front requires one or more counties not flip where the winner's total margin exceeds the total held by the loser.

    Quote


    Minnesota, Governor:

    Actual:



    Mark Dayton 989,100 50.07%
    Jeff Johnson 879,249 44.51%

    Alternate:



    Mark Dayton 989,100 48.83%
    Jeff Johnson 929,453 45.89%

    Very cool that Dayton still retains more than half of his original margin under this scenario. I really wanted to flip Ramsey County, but its margin was larger than Hennepin, which would have put Johnson over the finish line.

    Is there another combination of Ramsey + something smaller that also holds for Dayton? Hennepin supplied about 60K more votes than needed.
    20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Did you like gym class in school? on: November 22, 2014, 10:53:29 am
    But grading people for ability in P.E. is ridiculous.
    Why?  Granted, anyone who is making an effort ought to get at least a C, but I see no problem with having better grades in P.E. being based on better performance, and I say that as someone for whom P.E. was not one of my better subjects for exactly that reason.
    I agree.  People that are naturally smart (or at least naturally good students) find it easy to get good grades, why shouldn't the naturally athletic get better grades in athletics?

    Indeed, if it is going to be a school subject, why shouldn't it be treated like other subjects? If PE is not ability-based, then how should music and art classes be graded? What about cooking or keyboarding?
    21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maximizing geography of losing candidates on: November 22, 2014, 10:46:56 am
    Wow that California map is insane

    It could be even more insane. Kashkari's winning margin in the states he won was 215,555 (again Politico numbers). Los Angeles county provided a margin for Brown of 405,230 so it alone could balance Kashkari's win plus all other flipped counties, not unlike the way Cook balances the rest of IL.

    But it gets better, Alameda had a 226,726 vote margin for Brown which is larger than Kashkari's in his winning counties. So, you can take politicallefty's CA map and flip San Francisco, too and it's still a Brown win - with only Alameda!
    22  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Maximizing geography of losing candidates on: November 22, 2014, 10:25:12 am
    Mathematically, there is an equivalent, simpler procedure. Take the margin of victory for the loser in those counties won by the loser, call it L. Count the number of counties won by the winner, call it C. L+C is the winning margin for the loser if all of the winner's counties just flipped to the loser by one vote. To solve the problem select the smallest number of counties that voted for the winner (n < C), such that the total margin of victory w in those counties is greater than L+C-n.

    Since C and n are generally going to be small compared to the difference between w and L they can be usually be neglected. Then the problem simplifies to finding the smallest set of counties that gives a value for w that is larger than L.

    For example, for IA Gov, Hatch only won Johnson county and the margin was 10,568 (Politico). Branstad won the other 98 counties. The only county Branstad won by more than that was Scott, with a margin of 15,073 (Woodbury was just short with 10,245). So flipping all other counties except Scott to Hatch would give Branstad a margin of 15,073 - (10,568 + 98 - 1) = 4,408.
    23  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Forum Redistricting Commission on: November 22, 2014, 09:25:44 am
    There is currently a tie between VA and WI for the first state for the commission. Please vote for just one of those two to break the tie. Voting will close at 11:59 EST tonight.

    The following posters have applied for the commission (I think). Some posters voted for the state, but did not clearly indicate if they wanted to be considered for the commission. If that included you and you meant to be on the list, please indicate some time today. If you didn't mean to be on the list, also indicate that today. Tomorrow I'll make a random draw of five commissioners and two alternates such that no party gets a majority.

    JerryArkansas (R)
    Dixie (R)
    Del Tachi (R)

    Averroes Nix (D)
    Morgieb (D)
    Gass (D)
    Bacon King (D)
    X (D)

    SLCValleyMan (G)
    Fuzzybigfoot (G)

    Electionsguy (L)

    Sol (I)
    Miles (I)
    24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Anyone else watching Survivor: Blood vs. Water 2? on: November 20, 2014, 11:53:09 pm
    Bummed that Jeremy had to go, he was my last real horse in the race. I'm surprised people are letting Jon and Jacqueline run things so transparently.

    This was a surprising blindside in that the editors had almost no foreshadowing during the episode. Great play by J&J to link with M&B as the other "trusted" couple to pull it off. Because of the editing I can't tell what role Reed played in any of this. Going forward, does this throw Natalie in with K&W?
    25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 a GOP R+6 election on: November 20, 2014, 10:45:48 pm
    R+ and D+ are not based on the margin, but by how much a party is over 50% (or over a benchmark like the previous two presidential races). That puts 2014 at R+3, not R+6.
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