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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Capitals of states on: June 27, 2016, 10:49:43 pm
Travel was far more difficult 200-odd years ago when most state capitals were chosen, so a central location between population centers was a major factor in their selection. Much the same logic applies to why Washington was chosen as the US capital instead of say New York or Philadelphia.

County seats are often centrally located within counties also for the same reason.

It's interesting that there has never been a major effort to try to move the capital of any of the states since establishment, however. I suppose it would be more trouble than it's worth.

As I described, there was a major successful effort to move the IL state capital. After almost 20 years in Vandalia, Abe Lincoln led a group from Sangamon county to move it to Springfield.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many airports have you been to? on: June 27, 2016, 09:56:26 pm
Too many to count.

If Nutmeg can count his, I'm sure you can, too.
3  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 27, 2016, 05:27:51 pm


Thanks, much nicer.

To give you a sense of the scoring and some changes you might consider, I'm just going to describe your CD 4. It is involved with 5 county chops: Eaton, Ingham, Isabella, Montcalm, and Saginaw. The Eaton and Saginaw chops each exceed 5% of a CD so they are macrochops. That means the disposition and boundaries of the individual subunits in those counties matter. This has the practical effect of treating them like the urban areas around Detroit and increases the erosity score that describes the shape of the district. Let me talk about each of the chops separately.

The Eaton and Ingham chops are what we call a "traveling chop". That means the same two districts chop more than one county. The rules can score it, but it's actually illegal under MI law, and can't be used unless required by federal law. There is an easy fix: put all of Ingham in CD 4, and shift the city of Eaton Rapids and the township immediately north to CD 4, too. Then shift Grand Ledge and the township around it out of CD 4. The traveling chop is gone and the total number of chopped counties drops to 4.

Isabella is a nice straight, simple chop. The chop intercepts the state highway connections from Mt Pleasant (county seat) to the county seats of both Midland and Gratiot, so it actually improves the erosity score. Well designed chops should do that.

Montcalm is a chop that creates two pieces. This tends to increase erosity, since each piece has a separate connection. A better design would chop out of CD-4 the 4 southernmost townships of Montcalm as well as the two western townships immediately north of those four. That arrangement serves to reduce the overall erosity.

Saginaw is another macrochop that will increase erosity by it's nature. There is also in CD 4 a precinct of a township west of Saginaw city that was chopped, and that increases the chop score by 1. Better is to leave that precinct out of CD 4 but use the township kitty-corner to the NW corner of Genesee instead.

See what you think of that, and if you want to make any of the changes I suggest. You may want to look at getting rid of those macrochopped counties, too.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-House 2016 Mega-Thread: Schneider internal shows him +4 on: June 27, 2016, 02:56:41 pm
Today is the last day to file as an independent/third party candidate for congressional elections in Illinois.

Filing is open until 5:00pm, but so far we have Kenton McMillen running as a Libertarian in the Senate race.  I couldn't remember his name until today, even though I signed his nominating petitions.

Eric Martin White running as an independent in the 6th and
Joseph Schreiner running as a Libertarian in the 16th.

The last two are puzzling as both have addresses listed in Chicago, and neither district contains any portion of Chicago.  Then again you don't have to actually live in a congressional distric to run there.

White filed for state rep not Congress.
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 27, 2016, 09:58:02 am

Well the reason you might see some townships chopped is because I was looking at DRA's municipal lines tool very closely to avoid municipal splits.
Does one take precedence over the other?

DRA shows lines for Census places. Those include cities which are equivalent to townships, and villages which are subsidiary to townships. There is a nice map on the thread I linked that show the county subunits for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

On DRA you can tell what are subunits by the voting district (precinct) number.  In MI the first three digits are the county number. The next four digits are the county subunit, either township or city. The remaining digits identify the voting district in that subunit.
Wait so that is what they truly mean by 'city and town lines'?

Yes. In MI some are county subdivisions and others are just Census places that don't count as separate county subdivisions. Each state is different based on their own laws. DRA just loaded the place shapes for all states and didn't distinguish between types of municipalities. Wikipedia is usually accurate about which munis fall into which category. If you use Wikipedia as a reference for MI, it's townships and cities that matter for the chop count.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 27, 2016, 07:50:49 am

Well the reason you might see some townships chopped is because I was looking at DRA's municipal lines tool very closely to avoid municipal splits.
Does one take precedence over the other?

DRA shows lines for Census places. Those include cities which are equivalent to townships, and villages which are subsidiary to townships. There is a nice map on the thread I linked that show the county subunits for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

On DRA you can tell what are subunits by the voting district (precinct) number.  In MI the first three digits are the county number. The next four digits are the county subunit, either township or city. The remaining digits identify the voting district in that subunit.
7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 26, 2016, 10:31:25 pm
Michigan fair map

1 (blue): R+1
2 (green): EVEN
3 (purple): R+4
4 (red): D+3
5 (gray) D+9
6 (gold): R+8
7 (teal): D+1
8 (slate blue): D+5
9 (pink): D+2
10 (chartreuse): D+9
11 (aquamarine): D+13
12 (cyan): R+4
13 (dark salmon): 46% White, 48.8% Black; D+23
14 (olive): 43.2% White, 45.4% Black; D+24

That's more like it. Would you like it scored with the other MI maps we all posted a few years ago?
Sure.


In order to score your map, I need to recreate it to measure the chops. The scoring rules treat chops more harshly if they exceed 5% of the population of a CD. Some of your county chops look like they slice through townships and cities (which are equivalent to townships in MI). We also treated maps more harshly if they split multiple townships and cities in a single county.

Do you have the population deviations for each CD? That would tell me if I've recreated it correctly.
I don't, but I could (a) email you the drf files or (b) load them later and tell you the deviations.
Which do you prefer?

You can load them later. However, I can tell your score will suffer from the large number of township/city chops - particularly in the large counties. Townships and cities are subunits, and once more than 5% of a county is chopped into other CDs then each subunit chop counts against the score, just like a county chop. You may want to make some edits first to fix some of the more obvious subunit chops.

Here's the thread with the other scored MI maps.
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 26, 2016, 09:56:33 pm
Michigan fair map

1 (blue): R+1
2 (green): EVEN
3 (purple): R+4
4 (red): D+3
5 (gray) D+9
6 (gold): R+8
7 (teal): D+1
8 (slate blue): D+5
9 (pink): D+2
10 (chartreuse): D+9
11 (aquamarine): D+13
12 (cyan): R+4
13 (dark salmon): 46% White, 48.8% Black; D+23
14 (olive): 43.2% White, 45.4% Black; D+24

That's more like it. Would you like it scored with the other MI maps we all posted a few years ago?
Sure.


In order to score your map, I need to recreate it to measure the chops. The scoring rules treat chops more harshly if they exceed 5% of the population of a CD. Some of your county chops look like they slice through townships and cities (which are equivalent to townships in MI). We also treated maps more harshly if they split multiple townships and cities in a single county.

Do you have the population deviations for each CD? That would tell me if I've recreated it correctly.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: States that you want to visit in the future on: June 26, 2016, 07:19:33 am
Next month I plan to visit OH and then take a vacation to CO and UT by way of IA, NE, KS, and MO.

AK and HI are the only two states I haven't visited, so some year I'd like to get to those. My real goal is to visit as many of the 3143 US counties (and equivalents) as I can, even if just to drive through them. I'm currently at 1505. My vacation this year should add more than 20 counties to my total.
10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 25, 2016, 09:02:06 pm
Michigan fair map

1 (blue): R+1
2 (green): EVEN
3 (purple): R+4
4 (red): D+3
5 (gray) D+9
6 (gold): R+8
7 (teal): D+1
8 (slate blue): D+5
9 (pink): D+2
10 (chartreuse): D+9
11 (aquamarine): D+13
12 (cyan): R+4
13 (dark salmon): 46% White, 48.8% Black; D+23
14 (olive): 43.2% White, 45.4% Black; D+24

That's more like it. Would you like it scored with the other MI maps we all posted a few years ago?
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trumpism on: June 25, 2016, 08:40:10 pm
Excellent points.  This year should may turn out very good!

Here's a quote from Charles Murray's "Trump's America" about Trump's supporters that bears highlighting:

Quote
There is nothing conservative about how they want to fix things. They want a now indifferent government to act on their behalf, big time. If Bernie Sanders were passionate about immigration, the rest of his ideology would have a lot more in common with Trumpism than conservatism does.

There are many consequences of Trumpism that will remain with us.  One of them is the end of the GOP nominating process being a contest of "Who's the purest conservative?".  Here you have a major constituency within the GOP that is demanding that the government act on their behalf.  These people have been Republicans and voted Republican forever; they weren't noticed because they were ignored and crapped on.  Until the day, that is, where a turd hit them in the eye and they woke up.  Our politics IS better for this; it's the end of the "Mr. Conservative" beauty contest that would have dismissed Trumpism as an anamoly and made Ted Cruz the "next in line".

The highlighted part is not apparent for readers over 50.
Before Reagan the group in question were predominantly Dem. Clinton pulled a number of them back in the 1990's, but Perot got a chunk as well. After 2000, they have been more reliably Pub, especially outside central cities.

I'm 59, and it was readily apparent to me, lol.

muon2 is correct in his analysis.  A lot of the Trump voters in Rust Belt states are, I believe, former Perot voters.  A vote for Perot either time was, in truth, a Republican vote.  1992 was a very good year for Congressional Republicans; they made progress despite the Clinton EV landslide.  For many of these Perot voters, Perot was the way station through which they entered into permanent Repubicanland.


How can it be apparent if you agree? Huh

My beef is the use of the phrase "Republican forever". In any case you in the 70's these voters were for Carter not Ford, and in 1968 they split between Humphrey and Wallace (a traditional southern Dem), helping Nixon carry the election.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trumpism on: June 25, 2016, 05:07:20 pm
Excellent points.  This year should may turn out very good!

Here's a quote from Charles Murray's "Trump's America" about Trump's supporters that bears highlighting:

Quote
There is nothing conservative about how they want to fix things. They want a now indifferent government to act on their behalf, big time. If Bernie Sanders were passionate about immigration, the rest of his ideology would have a lot more in common with Trumpism than conservatism does.

There are many consequences of Trumpism that will remain with us.  One of them is the end of the GOP nominating process being a contest of "Who's the purest conservative?".  Here you have a major constituency within the GOP that is demanding that the government act on their behalf.  These people have been Republicans and voted Republican forever; they weren't noticed because they were ignored and crapped on.  Until the day, that is, where a turd hit them in the eye and they woke up.  Our politics IS better for this; it's the end of the "Mr. Conservative" beauty contest that would have dismissed Trumpism as an anamoly and made Ted Cruz the "next in line".

The highlighted part is not apparent for readers over 50. Before Reagan the group in question were predominantly Dem. Clinton pulled a number of them back in the 1990's, but Perot got a chunk as well. After 2000, they have been more reliably Pub, especially outside central cities.
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Name your future children on: June 24, 2016, 06:08:22 pm
My children (one of each gender) have their mother's middle name for their middle name, and my last name. That middle name is my wife's mother's middle name as well which was moved from her maiden name when she married. Thus my children have both a multi-generational matrilineal name as well as a patrilineal name.
14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Capitals of states on: June 24, 2016, 04:32:45 pm
The original 1818 IL state capital was in Kaskaskia, a town on the Mississippi river. It had been the territorial capital from 1809 and was a major trading settlement. At the time of statehood most of the population was in the south near and between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Chicago had a fort and trading post and had been burned by Potawatomi Indians during the war of 1812, and was only rebuilt in 1816. Chicago in 1818 was a tiny trading post, that wasn't even supposed to be in Illinois, but for the machinations of Nathaniel Pope who wanted a longer stretch of Lake Michigan and the lead mining area of Galena in the new state.

A year after statehood the capital was relocated to Vandalia in southern Illinois near the center of population of the time. Kaskaskia flooded frequently, and was all but wiped out in the late 1800's. Vandalia was a new town built just for the capital.

By 1837 the population has shifted north, but not to Chicago which still had less than 4000 people. A group in the state legislature representing Sangamon county successfully attached an amendment to  a spending bill for a new capital in Springfield. The legislative leader was Abraham Lincoln, so the state is aptly named the "Land of Lincoln".

I'm not aware that there has ever been a serious effort to move the capital from Lincoln's home city. The state has buildings in Chicago that provide offices for the statewide officials and hearing rooms for when the legislature is not in session.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: DRA stuff on: June 22, 2016, 07:24:47 pm
I like your neutral offerings better. I'm sure there will be plenty of more relevant gerrymanders when estimates close to 2020 start to come out.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Scott Walker: Delegates should be able to vote how they want at RNC on: June 22, 2016, 08:00:17 am
You can't just change the rules because you don't like him... you have to beat him.  There's still time but Republicans have to stop being wimps with this "I support the nominee of the party" crap.  Come out in unison against Trump and bully him out of the race.

I don't see how your first two sentences work together.  Either the voting in the primaries should determine the nominee or it shouldn't.  If it should, then it is already too late, and there isn't still time.  Trump has already won.  If it shouldn't, then they'll have a vote at the convention, to see if they want to nominate Trump or not.  If the majority there don't want him, and they vote against him, then they're not being wimps, saying that they "support the nominee".  They're actually going way out on a limb by rejecting him.  So which is it?


What does it say to GOP primary voter that their votes can be negated by a vote of national convention delegates?

I don't know what it says, but it's a fact.  Same is true of the Dems.  The delegates could vote to throw out the existing rules and replace them with new ones if they really wanted to.  I don't think they will, but they could if they really wanted to.


Morden is correct. Primaries for president are not the same as those for other offices. All a presidential primary does is get delegates to the national convention. The party is a private organization and may change its convention rules.

Except in a few states a primary win is not necessary to get on the Nov ballot. Sure, winning a primary for an office like state representative places that person on the general election ballot, and that's how most candidates get to the general election. However, getting an independent or third party nod typically does not require a primary win to get on the ballot. In IL if a major party runs no one in a primary, a person can even use that party's slot to get directly on the Nov ballot.

I think that only states with a top two jungle primary force all candidates to go through a primary, and only allow those candidates who won the primary to be on the Nov ballot.
17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What does this mean? on: June 22, 2016, 06:44:21 am
There's a common phrase "in one ear and out the other" to mean something that was told to a person and not remembered or acted on.

The famous golfer Bobby Jones said, "Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course the distance between your ears."

There's a long tradition of using the space between one's ears as a metaphor for thought.
18  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Will Science Drive Religion Extinct? on: June 21, 2016, 12:04:19 pm
Bumping this to add that I was invited to give a talk about Christianity and science. I spoke to a small group after church last Sunday for about an hour with slides. My focus was on the creation of the universe and how biblical faith is not in contradiction to results from quantum mechanics, particle physics, and cosmology.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Could you find the english one of this news? on: June 20, 2016, 03:59:21 pm
I'm not sure that is originally from English. Do you know if it came from an English-language source? The translation in Illiniwek's link gives reference to a Spanish source.

However, I found a related story about the same company that appeared a couple of years ago in Fast Company, and was re-reported at theloop.ca.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / MOVED: Should Puerto Rico become a state? on: June 20, 2016, 05:54:47 am
This topic has been moved to Political Debate.

http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=239196.0
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: IL-House 2016 Mega-Thread: Schneider internal shows him +4 on: June 19, 2016, 07:53:31 am
That's not very good. This is a must win seat for Democrats to pick up the house.

And while some are talking about picking up IL-13, its funny because that district is already an attempted Democratic gerrymander and they can't win it.
No Obama this time to increase Dems odds in Illinois either.

Dems are realizing it was a failed attempt, although they came close in 2012. Won't be happening this round because there is a Democrat and a progressive independent in the race. Expect a different district in 2020 that takes some of the most progressive areas of IL-13 and IL-12 and combines them into one downstate Dem district.

I definitely agree that the internal isn't very positive.

The irony is that the DCCC knew that IL-12 and 13 were marginal at best for them in 2011 when they drew the seats. But they wanted to make an immediate play for Congress in 2012 and maximizing IL was unavoidable for that strategy. They could have drawn a relatively secure IL-12 that would have held up after Costello's retirement. It gets harder to do the same in 2021 with the declining downstate population, larger CD size, and general shift of southern IL towards the Pubs.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you miss elementary school? on: June 18, 2016, 11:01:48 pm
I wouldn't know what to count towards the question. Elementary school was K-6 everywhere I lived in the 1960's. Due to family moves and school changes I went to 5 different elementary schools and that including doing K-6 in six years as I skipped a year as a result of one of my moves.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone IV - Hungover on: June 17, 2016, 09:58:21 pm
This afternoon I was watching the Cubs game on TV while going through some papers, enjoying Arrieta's 11th win of the year. The cameras pointed out a number of people wearing t-shirts with the words "Save Ferris". Even the booth announcers showed off their Save Ferris shirts as the pulled them from plastic wrappers. Apparently it was Save Ferris day at Wrigley field in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and fans got free t-shirts.

As for me I had a nice dinner salad and bread with roasted garlic. While sipping the rest of our bottle of Apremont from the Savoy in France this evening we pulled out our DVD of the movie and watched it.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Doug Burgum wins ND GOP Primary on: June 17, 2016, 07:14:07 am
Hm. An east vs. west divide here, just like in the South Dakota Democratic primary for President. Although Burgum won pretty much every county, but you can tell by the margins of victory in the east compared to the west.

The E/W thing is endemic to SD, and is about the Missouri river.

Not really sure you can see a real E/W divide here, considering Stenehjem won only 3 counties.

ND has an E/W divide that has been strengthening over the last decade. You can see it in the pres results in the last two cycles. It wasn't as visible in the pres winner counties during the 90's, but if you look at Perot he did substantially better in the west.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is A Democratic Wave Building ? on: June 16, 2016, 07:29:31 am
If the rate of split-ticket voting remains at < 10% in 2016, as it did in 2012 (5%~), then Clinton winning by 2008 margins or higher would certainly deliver a decent Senate majority and seriously cut into the Republican House majority. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, Democrats need to win the House PV about 7% - 8% to claw back a slim majority. Hard to see that happening unless Clinton wins by possibly 10 points or more.

Right now, the Generic Congressional poll is giving Democrats a 2.2% average. Democrats have been leading or tied in this poll since last summer:



This is June 2006, where Democrats won the House PV by 7.9%:



Obviously things have changed in the past ten years (map lines/population movement), so a 31 seat gain at 7.9% seems unlikely right now. However, it doesn't take 7.9% to at least significantly hurt the GOP nationwide. Half that would still be very good. Also worth noting is that Democrats under-performed their poll numbers in 2006, which stood at an 11.6% average by November. Finally, a large Clinton win would most likely flip numerous state legislature chambers. This election could really shore up Democrats for 2018.

In the end, I think it is going to come down to Clinton's winning margin and where she performs best.

I tend to think that it's a bit early to read too much into the generic ballot numbers. I looked at the US House polls from 2008 and in June the Dems led by an average of 12% and won in Nov by 10%, so that looks predictive. But in June 2004 the Dems led the US House polls by an average of 8% and lost by 3% in Nov - not predictive at all.
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