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1  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 22, 2014, 11:17:13 pm
Here's my draft of the plan for all 100 districts.

MD (2)
   MD-Potomac 2566K
   MD-Chesapeake 3217K

Your map shows Calvert and St. Mary's as part of Potomac, but your numbers appear to include St.Mary's in Chesapeake.   I would place Calvert in Chesapeake, and St.Mary's in Potomac.

The District of Columbia has been included as part of Maryland (and Virginia until 1845).  Initially, the population was quite small, and there was the feeling that those who lived in Georgetown and Alexandria should not lose the right to vote for representatives in Congress, and it did not interfere with Congress's exclusive jurisdiction.  After the 13th Amendment was passed, granting weighted voting rights to delegates from territories, it became quite natural to continue representation, with the understanding that the District was not on the path to statehood as the other territories were.

The population reached its peak share of the combined population in 1940 (26.6%).  Even though the district gained 20.9% to reach its maximum population in 1950, its share had begun to decline as Montgomery and Prince George's doubled during the 1940s, and again during the 1950s.   The district now contains 9.4% of the combined population.

Potomac 3175K
Chesapeake 3201K

History

Maryland (plus DC) has always had two districts.  During long periods of the 19th and early 20th century, it was the district population that kept Maryland from dropping to a single district.  This was another factor in maintaining its inclusion in representation.

My map was correct and I caught the numeric error after my post. I corrected them for my upcoming v2, along with the addition of DC to Potomac.

Potomac 3263K
Chesapeake 3112K

Calvert is part of the DC metro even if it's too rural to be in the UCC. I see no good reason to shift it to Balto.

2  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 22, 2014, 08:32:24 pm

What is your thinking on Indiana?  The size and location of Indianapolis make it likely that an asymmetric plan would be required with Indianapolis being placed with the less populous end.  Indianapolis doesn't have enough size to make a good hole for a doughnut, and the north and south don't fit together that well.

IN has a clear sociological and linguistic division between the north and the rest of the state. I cited an article noting that the northerners even tend to avoid referring to themselves as Hoosiers. I added Terre Haute with a lot of ties to IL. OTOH I put the area just north of Kokomo in the south, based on a loose affiliation with Kokomo and Marion (particularly for Peru).

The linguistic line runs south of Ft Wayne, north of Kokomo, and through Lafayette. It matches the sociology pretty well, too. If I use that for the division, there's just enough population in the Lake Michigan district. You could add rural Warren and Jay based on media coverage, but going further south except along the IL boundary pretty much cuts into the core on central IN.



Lake Michigan (IN) 2450K; 2008 pres: D 51.8%, R 47.2%, O 1.0%
Hoosier (IN) 4034K; 2008 pres: D 48.9%, R 50.0%, O 1.1%
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Your favorite kind of pie on: July 22, 2014, 03:49:16 pm
Other, pecan. How did it get left off? Sad
4  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 08:01:42 pm

Regarding what I was going to say earlier: I noticed that the Philly, Detroit, and Atlanta metros all were somewhat similar in size- 7th, 11th, and 12th in current rankings, and if you remove the New Jersey portion of Philly they're very close indeed.  All are in between one and two districts at this size, ideally.  And, in addition, all of the three have large black populations that support between 1 and 3 VRA districts at our current 435-district size.

So it would seem to make sense to treat them somewhat similarly on these maps, and either draw them all with expansive borders, or all with close-in borders.  But there are differences as well: Philly's one black-majority district is the result of a much smaller AA population than Georgia's three districts; and there is of course the accident of very different historical political boundaries:

*Philly has the most expansive city boundaries, being a combined city-county; Atlanta is very penned-in and takes up about 10 percent of the metro area; Detroit is in the middle...
*In terms of central county sizes, Wayne is the most expansive, and Fulton again is the smallest, both relatively and absolutely.

There's also the larger philosophical question of how much animosity there is between the (largely AA) central cities, and the (largely white) suburbs, and whether we want to be encouraging the suburbs to identify as a separate unit from the central cities, or as one unified metro area.  Obviously my bias is toward a rapprochement between city and suburb and a recognition that urban areas don't always end at the exact town lines (and that the suburbs need the central city just as much as the city needs the suburbs), which I hope explains my horror at cordoning off Philly in particular- at least, whatever can't be simply explained by the fact that Philadelphia County is really underpopulated, beyond jimrtex's original guidelines.

I guess, when looking at those three areas, I'd say that it's somewhat tricky to figure out how to draw the lines when the metros are obviously too large for one and too small for two districts, so at the end of the day while I'd like to try and be consistent in my principles you have to look at the differences between them, both in terms of their internal composition and their neighbors.  The PA portion of the Philly district is not too overpopulated, and is surrounded by other metros, (especially if you slice off Berks, which is legitimately separate), so I'd go with maximum inclusivity.  I'm more willing to draw tightly around Wayne County, though, because it's a tougher judgment call as to which suburban counties to include, and also in recognition of the sad fact that the city/suburb animosity is particularly keen there. 

As for Georgia, my original map went for a bit of a middle ground (which also happened to minimize deviations) since Fulton/DeKalb/Clayton would be too small and the entire metro would be too large.  Though, Atlanta is also the metro with the highest AA population and thus the one case where the VRA could plausibly be triggered (the Detroit and Philly black populations just aren't quite large enough I think), so upon further reflection your most recent map, with its black-plurality Atlanta & south core, is also a solid option.  At this population size there are very few genuine opportunities for minority districts, so it makes sense to take the opportunity here.  (Where else even is there?  I guess NYC, Chicago, LA, South Texas, and Miami?  And none of those are quite comparable, excepting possibly Miami-Dade.)

Bah, this is all quite a meandering hash.  Hope I made a little bit of sense at least.

Unlike GA where there were core counties with 40%+ and 50%+ BVAPs, Wayne county MI only reaches 39.2% BVAP and I can't justify keeping it apart with its small population. I also can't see adding only one of the adjacent counties from a CoI view since if either Oakland or Macomb is added, so should the other. With that in mind, I took jimrtex's suggestion of shifting the Lansing UCC to the east to get this map.



Mackinac 3400K
Huron 2620K
St Clair 3864K
5  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Most socially liberal landlocked state? (Other than Vermont) on: July 21, 2014, 07:26:59 pm
If the poll is about opinions, I'll be happy to move it to Individual Politics. If this is for debate, hopefully supported by data, then I'm happy to see it here. The OP doesn't make it clear.
6  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 21, 2014, 07:19:53 pm
The Edison division can become the Jersey Shore district and is within range. To fix the southern district I note that Warren county isn't part of the NY UCC, but is part of the Allentown UCC and like South Jersey is oriented towards PA. Shifting that would be enough, but looking at population, I can move Hunterdon as well which is only loosely connected to the Newark division. If one wanted to further smooth the populations, they could shift Sussex as well. Here's the NJ map I come up with.



Palisades 4003K; 2008 pres: D 60.7%, R 38.5%, O 0.8%
Jersey Shore 2340K; 2008 pres: D 50.2%, R 48.6%, O 1.1%
Delaware (NJ) 2449K; 2008 pres: D 58.7%, R 40.0%, O 1.2%

I quite like this map, FWIW.  The biggest question is of course whether Hunterdon and Warren would like it.  And putting Sussex in the Delaware district, while a little weird by current CoI standards, would do a good job of reconstituting the old West Jersey:

 

Though, while Warren is part of the Allentown metro and thus is nominally oriented toward PA, it's not like the county is entirely separate from the NYC orbit: the eastern portion is more NYC exurbs and the Allentown connection comes in mainly through Phillipsburg; and Allentown is part of the New York CSA after all.

Thanks for the comments, since you can see I really do try to integrate good ideas. I went back and forth on Sussex, since my memories from 30 years ago had virtually no NYC exurban area out there. If you think that there's still a good case to keep the Delaware Water Gap with the rest of the new West Jersey (Morris is obviously too much in the Newark metro) I can move it. The fact that the NYC metro is so large and has to be split, along with the fact that the NYC CSA extends into PA, makes it easier to split the western counties from Newark.

As you can see I came to agree with you on Philly. What do you think of the rest of my PA solution? Allentown may not be an ideal fit for the Lower Susquehanna, but I liked it better there since it allowed me to keep the mountain counties together.

I'm in the process of creating another full US map, this time with PVIs for all the districts, so I appreciate the input.

7  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 19, 2014, 07:05:13 am
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MA Berkshires is underpopulated.  I would add the southern part of the state (Bristol-Plymouth-Barnstable, Duke and Nantucket.  Splitting Middlesex doesn't really solve the problem.  If you are using towns, then you could argue that the Boros belong with Boston area.
Moving all counties except for the 5 that make up the Boston UCC leaves a Cape to Berkshires district that exceeds the minimum.

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NY Ontario is overpopulated, but counties like Jefferson, Delaware, Otsego, etc. would work OK.

NY Brooklyn is overpopulated but may be acceptable as an exception that avoids splitting counties.  Queens alone is barely below the minimum, but that would make 3 LI districts, and force the two non-LI districts close to 6 million each.
Brooklyn is a well-justified exception. Shifting Delaware puts the Catskills together and gets Ontario just inside the range.

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NJ Pinelands is too small, but I like Train's map better.

I still don't like the split of Union from Essex in train's map, but I think there's a solution I like in another comment he made.

It's completely insane to me, BTW, that the Newark district still exists, but the Edison, NJ division  (which consisted of Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Somerset, and mapped quite well onto the core of what people recognize as Central Jersey) was mostly folded into the "main" NYC district, which it shares with nearby places such as White Plains, and whose only connection with the rest of the district is the Outerbridge Crossing.  Not that there necessarily shouldn't be a Newark district, but I'd get rid of it way before I got rid of the Edison district.

The Edison division can become the Jersey Shore district and is within range. To fix the southern district I note that Warren county isn't part of the NY UCC, but is part of the Allentown UCC and like South Jersey is oriented towards PA. Shifting that would be enough, but looking at population, I can move Hunterdon as well which is only loosely connected to the Newark division. If one wanted to further smooth the populations, they could shift Sussex as well. Here's the NJ map I come up with.



Palisades 4003K; 2008 pres: D 60.7%, R 38.5%, O 0.8%
Jersey Shore 2340K; 2008 pres: D 50.2%, R 48.6%, O 1.1%
Delaware (NJ) 2449K; 2008 pres: D 58.7%, R 40.0%, O 1.2%
8  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 11:30:49 pm
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PA Philadelphia is underpopulated.   Adding in the 3 adjacent counties is right near the national mean.   This would leave the remnant of Delaware underpopulated, so it would have to include Wilkes-Barre and Scranton and the rest of NE PA.  This would make Susquehanna as Harrisburg-Lancaster-York-Reading district in the south central part of the state.  State College and Altoona may need to be shifted as well.

The Philly UCC with 5 counties is within the range for a district and forms a cohesive CoI. The Harrisburg-Reading district is barely over the minimum, but can pick up the Allentown UCC. If the western district is defined by counties primarily west of the continental divide, the remaining part is slightly too small, but is above the minimum if Cambria-Somerset is shifted east. That results in the map below.



Allegheny 3326K; 2008 pres: D 50.4%, R 48.5%, O 1.1%
Upper Susquehanna 2420K; 2008 pres: D 47.2%, R 51.5%, O 1.3%
Lower Susquehanna 2947K; 2008 pres: D 47.6%, R 51.2%, O 1.1%
Schyulkill 4009K; 2008 pres: D 66.5%, R 32.7%, O 0.8%
9  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 05:09:48 pm
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NC Blue Ridge is underpopulated (isn't the Blue Ridge most associated with VA?).  Adding Charlotte or Greensboro would correct that, but would mess up the other districts.  Does Asheville-Charlotte, Greensboro-Raleigh, and Wilmington-Fayetteville and whatever we can stuff into it work?

This works better than trying to keep the three major urban centers separate, which results in either Charlotte or Greensboro stretching to Fayette-Wilmington and the other joining with Asheville. It's easier to start with the coastal areas as a unit. This is the plan I came up with.

Catawba 3369K; 2008 pres: D 45.8%, R 53.1%, O 1.1%
Piedmont 3522K; 2008 pres: D 52.7%, R 46.4%, O 0.9%
Pamlico 2644K; 2008 pres: D 50.4%, R 48.9%, O 0.7%

10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 02:31:20 pm
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FL Everglades is overpopulated.  My proposal splits off the west coast, but my Tampa Bay is overpopulated.  Possibly shifting Citrus and Hernando north, since I've dropped down to Ft.Myers.  Your Cape Canaveral shows as being overpopulated, but that is because you included Lake, Hernando, and Citrus in its population (or your map is wrong).

Another way to address the population is to keep Miami-Dade and Broward together. The whole UCC including Palm Beach is too large, so it has to be split. Miami-Dade and Broward are the two main counties and one can park Monroe there, too, if one likes. The best shift to the south is to move the whole Bradenton-Saratota-Port Charlotte area, and at the same time bring the rural inland counties along with the others adjacent to Lake Okeechobee. That permits Polk to stay with Tampa Bay which is better fit than with Orlando.

The result is the following districts:
Appalachicola, 3326K, O'08 41.8%
Tampa Bay, 3527K, O'08 51.2%
Cape Canaveral, 3831K, O'08 50.6%
Okeechobee, 3800K, O'08 51.3%
Everglades, 4318K, O'08 62.1%
11  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 09:56:57 am
WA Columbia is underpopulated.  Moving northward to include Lewis and the coast could put it into range, as would an alternative of a very Seattle-centric district (4 counties).
A split of the three county Sea-Tac UCC is quite even (3440K to 3288K), but I don't see the need to force the northern Puget Sound with eastern WA. The shift of Thurston and the Olympic Peninsula (except Kitsap) is within range. It seems like it would make more sense to keep Thurston with Mason and Lewis, but perhaps a native from the area can provide a more expert view.
I was kind of hoping that Thurston and Mason could be kept in a Puget Sound district.   I would put Bremerton with Sea-Tac.  Its exclusion from the UCC is due to largely to the urbanized area not being able to jump across large bodies of water, and the UA from Tacoma just barely reaching into Kitsap County.
Technically you could do what you say to just squeak over the lower bound, but that then begs the question about CoI since Lewis, like Mason and Thurston, is part of the Sea-Tac CSA. If Lewis moves, then how would one logically argue that Mason shouldn't. And once both Lewis and Mason move it is logical that their natural central city Olympia should move with them as well. From a CoI  view I would suggest that either those three counties stay together, either with an exception so they can stay with the CSA or as a group with the rest of the Olympic Peninsula.

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MO Ozarks is underpopulated.  Moving Vernon and Bates makes that within range.  Is there something distinctively "northern" about them?  Coming across the north of the state to connect St.Louis and Kansas City is pretty radical as it is, is there a reason to extend the finger further south?  I'd like to see an east-west split, and perhaps a St.Louis-Kansas City district (two unconnected metro areas), or a Missouri River district with northern and southern rural areas separated.   The Missouri River district would include Columbia, Jefferson City, and probably extend north to St.Joseph.
The counties that border KS north of Joplin are more Plains than Ozarks, but Vernon could go either way. Moving Vernon brings Ozarks to 2263.8K or 0.667, just inside the quota. I wouldn't shift Bates which is much more in KC's CoI.

There is a rivalry between KC and St Louis with the state capital and Mizzou forming the neutral zone. The Ozarks would go with St Louis in a two-way split (they are Cards fans), but that results in a KC piece that is too small. The cultural split is really between the south and the north as seen in the periodic threads that argue about whether MO is southern or midwestern. The existence of a Little Dixie region north of Columbia is another clue that the south-north split better captures the state's divisions.
Cards fans are everywhere.  St.Louis had a very extensive farm system, and the A's didn't move to KC until the 1950s and left after little more than a decade.  The Browns were laughable, so Cards were the closest major league club for 2/3 or more of the country.

I thought Little Dixie was more along the Mississippi - like in Hannibal?, and that part of its decline in significance was due to capture of counties like St.Charles and Lincoln by St.Louis?
[/quote]


Here's a good map of historical Little Dixie according to its web site. Hannibal sits just past the northern edge. Over the years the whole region has become more Midwestern, especially losing ground on the west to KC. There are still remnants of the culture in a half a dozen central counties north of the Missouri river.
12  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 07:48:41 am

That then leaves the question as to how the Atlanta metro should split. The metro split you suggest is not based on any CoI, so I'm think some effort should go to see where there might be a CoI that keeps the pieces within the 2/3 - 4/3 quota range.


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One particular county that resulted in my switch was Carroll County, which has double in population to over 110,000 in the 3 decades from 1980-2010, with the growth concentrated on the panhandle crossed by I-20.  It is thus similar to Sherburne County in Minnesota - where interstate access makes longer distance commuting possible.  So you have cut the doughnut along the Alabama line.

I don't see the COI that the southern fringe of your district has with Rome and Dalton.  Were they "North Georgia" before someone dropped the A(tlanta)-Bomb on the area?

The north-south boundary in GA is pretty well accepted and runs along the fall line that separates the Piedmont from the Coastal Plain. The mountains of the north form a much smaller division. The fall line runs from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. I used the metro areas of the fall line as the northern edge of the south, which also kept the Black Belt intact in the southern district.

The remainder becomes the northern two districts. Merriwether. Pike and Lamar are on the southern edge of the Atlanta metro as much as Pickens and Dawson are on the northern edge. They are all semi-rural counties in the metro with commuting populations. If the population split were acceptable, I would have put Rome, Dalton, Athens, and everything else north and east of the Atlanta metro in one district and the metro in another, but I can't.
In 1950 Atlanta metro consisted of Fulton (473K) and DeKalb (136K), and barely Cobb (61K, but up from 38K in 1940).

By 1970 it was still the same Fulton (607K), DeKalb (483K), and Cobb (196K).  From 1960 to 1990, Fulton kind of stagnated as available land for single family filled up, and family sizes declined as result of end of baby boom, and maturation of baby boom families.   Since then it has experienced considerable growth, which must be from higher density development, and singles preferring to live nearer their job and rent, than commuting from nearly Rome or Macon.

In 1980, Gwinnett and Clayton reached past 100K:

Fulton 589K (a small drop); DeKalb 483K; Cobb 297K; Gwinnett 166K; and Clayton 150K.  Gwinnett is about 3 times the size of Clayton, so Clayton might reasonably be considered the 4th county.

By 1990 there were no new counties over 100K.  Fulton 648K, DeKalb 545K, Cobb 447K, Gwinnet 352K, and Clayton 259K.

By 2010, there were 10 new counties of over 100K, with populations doubling, tripling, even quadrupling (Forsyth).

Meanwhile, the core counties had barely managed to increase by 50%: Fulton 920K, DeKalb 692K, Cobb 688K, and Clayton 259K.   Gwinnett with plenty of space now has 805K.  The connection of Gwinnett is also somewhat accidental due to Fulton's odd shape after its annexation  of a rural county in the 1930s.

So the basis of my district is the core 4 counties of the Atlanta metro, along with counties that fit between them: Douglas, Fayette, and Henry.  Even if there is some local knowledge of where the Fall Line is, a large city like Atlanta overwhelms that, as siting of cities does not depend on waterwheels.  I think to the other counties to the south, that the areas to the north are seen as quite remote.

I would let any county other than Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett to vote on their district.

Incidentally, there is a fairly serious effort to reconstitute Milton County, which is the northern area including Alpharetta and Sandy Springs.  It faces a limit of 159 counties in the Georgia Constitution.  As a sweetener, they would permit a merged Atlanta-Fulton government, similar to Columbus-Muscogee and Athens-Clarke.

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The GA plan may be a compromise, but it doesn't particularly follow the rules. If the split between the Atlanta UCC and the rest of north GA is too unequal, then there should be a CoI justification. I would suggest using minority representation based on BVAP. This map shows counties shaded for 25-33.3%, 33.3-40%, 40-50%, and 50%+.



If one selects the Atlanta UCC counties that exceed 33.3% BVAP, those seven counties have a population of 2393K. That is 0.74 of the quota size for GA so it exceeds the 2/3 rule. The remainder in the north is 4253K and is 1.32 of the GA quota which is less than 4/3. This is a compromise in the spirit of the rules.
Does race form a geographic COI?


This was the question I posed a couple of weeks ago to train. He was using media markets while I was using census-based metro areas. Atlanta metro is large so the question of internal CoI comes up when looking for a split. Areas of a high proportion of a demographic group are very much what the states have used and the courts supported for CoI. Race is one of those demographic groups that has meaning in Atlanta. I used a rational basis that could get public support, and why not name it after the most prominent resident recognized with a national holiday.
The Gingles test requires racially-polarized voting.  If there is an extreme political difference, can the two groups be considered to form a single community?

There are plenty of counties where there are disparate and sometimes antagonistic political groups within. There are counties that are divided by media markets or commuting patterns, but still we try to seek a pattern that describes a dominant feature. Where a single race or ethnic group dominates a geographic area, most geographers would say that they form a community of interest. I wasn't trying to identify an area that would require VRA treatment, but instead identify a natural and large constituency within the Atlanta UCC to form a split. Also, from the political standpoint, guideline 5 would suggest that if there is a reasonable split that provides a Dem district and two GOP districts, that should be preferred over a split with three GOP districts.
13  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Most characteristically Republican state on: July 18, 2014, 07:32:40 am
The book What's the Matter with Kansas illustrated why it is quintessentially GOP, even when there are segments of the population that may have good reasons to vote Dem.
14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 18, 2014, 07:28:24 am
WA Columbia is underpopulated.  Moving northward to include Lewis and the coast could put it into range, as would an alternative of a very Seattle-centric district (4 counties).
A split of the three county Sea-Tac UCC is quite even (3440K to 3288K), but I don't see the need to force the northern Puget Sound with eastern WA. The shift of Thurston and the Olympic Peninsula (except Kitsap) is within range. It seems like it would make more sense to keep Thurston with Mason and Lewis, but perhaps a native from the area can provide a more expert view.

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MN Itasca is underpopulated.  Moving Sherburne and perhaps Wright fixes that.
I think this is a case where a small deviation outside of range is justified. MN has a population that is only 1.562 of the quota, so both districts will be undersized. We spent a lot of time on the UCC definition and splitting it when the Itasca district is at 0.660 of the quota seems against the spirit of the guidelines.

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MO Ozarks is underpopulated.  Moving Vernon and Bates makes that within range.  Is there something distinctively "northern" about them?  Coming across the north of the state to connect St.Louis and Kansas City is pretty radical as it is, is there a reason to extend the finger further south?  I'd like to see an east-west split, and perhaps a St.Louis-Kansas City district (two unconnected metro areas), or a Missouri River district with northern and southern rural areas separated.   The Missouri River district would include Columbia, Jefferson City, and probably extend north to St.Joseph.
The counties that border KS north of Joplin are more Plains than Ozarks, but Vernon could go either way. Moving Vernon brings Ozarks to 2263.8K or 0.667, just inside the quota. I wouldn't shift Bates which is much more in KC's CoI.

There is a rivalry between KC and St Louis with the state capital and Mizzou forming the neutral zone. The Ozarks would go with St Louis in a two-way split (they are Cards fans), but that results in a KC piece that is too small. The cultural split is really between the south and the north as seen in the periodic threads that argue about whether MO is southern or midwestern. The existence of a Little Dixie region north of Columbia is another clue that the south-north split better captures the state's divisions.
15  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 10:34:31 pm
Here's a TX plan based on jimrtex's suggestion. Everything fits the range. Is a district from El Paso to Corpus going to survive a plebiscite?



Alamo, 3875K, O'08 52.1%
Rio Grande, 3468K, O'08 57.7%
Permian Basin, 2901K, O'08 30.5%
Fort Worth, 3080K, O'08 38.8%
Dallas, 3616K, O'08 48.7%
Piney Woods, 4114K, O'08 34.3%
Houston,  4092K, O'08 50.8%
16  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 05:59:23 pm
If Ventura was given its choice of district:

(1) Silicon Valley-Central Coast;
(2) San Joaquin Valley;
(3) Orange County;
(4,5) One of the suburban LA districts;

which would they choose?

Suburban Los Angeles, absolutely. There's not even any question in that regard. Ventura County is suburban Los Angeles. Orange County would be awkward because of non-contiguity but not terrible. The San Joaquin Valley would make very little sense but it would still be better than a connection with San Jose.

Which of these two options would make more sense to you for the LA area:

Option A (keep LA county whole)
1) SLO, SB, Ventura, Orange (about 1K over population but justifiable)
2) Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Agoura Hills, and communities included inside LA city
3) City of LA
4) Torrance pocket, Los Angeles Valley (East LA to Long Beach)

Option B (keep Orange separate)
1) SLO, SB, Ventura, Antelope Valley, Agoura Hills, Torrance pocket, and communities in LAC
2) San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles Valley
3) City of LA
4) Orange
17  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Weighted Voting For Congress on: July 17, 2014, 01:57:20 pm
Just so I understand, I'm prepared to take the following as the revised criteria:



I want to test on a body that has a size comparable to a legislature and which the districts are are of coarsely comparable sizes.  For my model, I have chosen a 100-member House of Representatives, the apportionment of which is shown in the map above.

What I need are districting plans for the 22 states that have more than one representative.

Guidelines:

(1) Don't split counties, with the possible exceptions of Los Angeles, CA and Cook, IL.  New York City may simply be treated as 5 counties, though of course they likely form communities of interest. Split counties should only be combined with other counties to avoid violations of population range.

(2) Strong community of interest.

(3) Coarse equality.  Precise equality is undesirable.  Even equality within 10% of the average for the state is not so good, unless it just happens to match a community of interest.  As a general guideline, try to kKeep districts in the range of 2/3 to 1-1/3 of the quota for the state average quota for states with more than one district (3,394,813).  You may go outside with justification. Examples of justification include keeping counties intact, avoiding out-of range districts elsewhere in the state, and significant unavoidable violations of communities of interest.

(4) Connectivity is not a requirement, at this scale.  Contiguity might be waived in instances where there is a central district that spans across a state. For example, Cape Cod could be linked to western MA to keep the Boston metro intact within population range.

(5) Assume there is some mechanism in place to act as a check of excessively partisan plans.

(6) Plans may be subject to state plebiscites, so be prepared to advocate to the state voters that your plan should be adopted.

(7) Provide 2010 Census populations for the districts.  These will be adjusted based on the apportionment populations which include certain overseas Americans.

(7a) Provide electoral data for the 2008 presidential election for each district.

(7b) Provide each district with should have a name, with the state name as the prefix part of the name. For example, CA San Joaquin Valley.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: What's the racial distribution of your census tract? on: July 16, 2014, 09:34:35 pm
54% Hispanic
39% White
4% Black
1% Asian
1% Multiracial
19  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Can women be firemen or mailmen? on: July 16, 2014, 06:33:31 pm
I actually like the title "Chair". I don't find it inelegant, in fact for me it matches the proper usage in a sentence like "Chris chairs the Transportation Committee." I find it natural to flip it to "Chris is the chair of the Transportation Committee." I can use either sentence depending on the context I seek.
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Plan to split California into 6 states advances on: July 16, 2014, 08:22:49 am
The problem with any split attempt that goes to referendum is dealing with the Jefferson area in the far north. It's such a small population compared to the rest of the state, yet it has recently been the area that has made the most noise about separation. The southern splits seem reasonable in terms of population and demographics, and mirrors ideas that also show up on a five-way split of CA for a hypothetical apportionment of 100 Congressional seats. A Bay Area/Silicon Valley and Central Valley split also shows up in that plan. However, to satisfy Jefferson as an R-leaning area apart from the rest of the state and keep the San Joaquin valley R-leaning as well requires that Sacramento be attached to some part of the Bay Area. In this case it results in the mess they call North CA.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: IL-We Ask America: Rauner (R) up 12 on: July 15, 2014, 10:27:33 pm
Definitely take it with a grain of salt. It was commissioned by a blogger, which means more than likely, it was an automated poll and not live interviews. Automated polling is fine, if you're a tested pollster. WAA doesn't have a great track record. When you combine this with the fact that 1/3 of the calls were to mobile phones, I'm very skeptical. It's not like I'm automatically skeptical of either method; just when it comes to this pollster.

I wouldn't characterize the source as just a blogger. The site is run by one of the longest serving and most read (by insiders) statehouse reporters. He started his service providing a daily fax (hence the name) to subscribers before there was a web. He has posted about where and why pollsters have failed or succeeded in IL, so I suspect that he has had discussions with WAA about what to ask and what sample to select.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: IL-We Ask America: Rauner (R) up 12 on: July 15, 2014, 06:28:46 am
PPP please do this race. I really don't buy the WAA breakdowns at all so far.

It's interesting that you cite PPP. Ten years ago they were perhaps the mirror of WAA. They started in 2001 as a regional firm for Dems, whose internal results were sometimes questioned on the right due to their sample. They only gained national prominence during the Obama-Clinton primaries in 2008.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2014 Gubernatorial Election Polls / Re: IL-We Ask America: Rauner (R) up 12 on: July 14, 2014, 09:49:29 pm
This race has been ridiculously underpolled. The last non We Ask America poll was in early April.

Pollsters aren't prone to work for free.

There aren't many media groups that want to pay for regular polls here in IL. There will be some polls from the major outlets in the fall during the campaign, but the rest will be smaller buys or internal polling. When media outlets pay for polling they tend to have a long term relationship with a single firm.

That brings in WAA which is native to IL and has moved beyond its original roots as an arm of the manufacturers association. Capitol Fax is the most respected political blog in the state and is the only media outlet currently engaged in regular polling. It uses WAA as the pollster of choice, in part due to the in-state experience. Cap Fax dumped on many of the national pollsters who refused to poll the independent Cohen four years ago for Gov, and that resulted in Brady boosted by the other "not Quinn" votes. Like any good business, WAA will work with their client to ask the questions the client wants. It's worth noting that the Chicago Sun Times, the more left-leaning of the two major newspapers in the city, also now uses WAA for its polling.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should homeschooling be legal? on: July 14, 2014, 09:18:10 pm
No. There's something wrong with the idea of the government mandating everyone's children attend facilities where they are instructed through a government-approved curriculum without the legal possibility of the parents taking their children elsewhere (and what if there aren't decent private schools in the area or the parents can't afford private schools?). I know all of this sounds like I've been sitting in my concrete bunker with a stockpile of canned food, bottled water, and non-hybridized seeds too long, but there's a bit Orwellian about banning it.

Note, I'm not saying the government shouldn't be able to place some degree of standards on what homeschooled children must know and be able to do, but the government can't ban it outright or try and place so many restrictions on it that it's effectively banned.

Likewise, the point of keeping it legal is not just to help special needs kids (though that is certainly a good reason), it also needs to be kept legal to make it possible for parents to instruct their children in ways the government does not agree with. A bit like free speech, the point isn't to just let us all talk about the weather without interference, the point is specifically to protect speech against the government or speech that others might find offensive. In the case of homeschooling, it's perfectly fine for the government to require the students to be able to pass a test or set standards for things that must be covered, but apart from that their parents can teach them whatever they like.

Understand, I don't think homeschooling is actually a good idea in most situations and highly doubt if I have kids some day I'd ever consider it. But those are not sufficient reasons to merit a ban.

So your answer is yes. Smiley

I know a number of homeschoolers and angus has described them as well as I could.
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What does the red mean? on: July 14, 2014, 09:13:40 pm
The red phrase refers back to the opening sentences.
Quote
He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.
The last time I was there he introduced me by saying:
A fund-raising event implies a group of people who have donated money to a cause which in this case is for youth at risk. It is common for one of the donors to act as host offering an interesting location for the other donors to enjoy an evening of food, drink and conversation. At some point during the event there will be a speech or two about the cause, and the speaker is customarily introduced by the host.
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