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Author Topic: Alternate US States  (Read 37919 times)
Antonio V
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« on: September 13, 2009, 01:27:05 pm »
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I wanted to try creating new US states in order to represent better demographic/geographical factors and to have less inequalities between State sizes. My choices can obviously be contestable sometimes, but I tried to do a map that makes sense geographically, also by doing some research about US intra-state regions. Here is the map I managed to make after several days of work.
Note that this will result in having 51 States, since I consider DC to be the 51st State IRL.



States which were split into two or three new States
States which were merged into one new State
States whose borders were modified, either by taking some territory from them, or by giving some to another State


Now, I would like to make a more detailed analysis of the political consequences of this redrawing, and particularly on Presidential Elections. First of all, here's a quick presentation of the new/modified States, with the EVs they would get after the 2000 census.

Split States

- Adirondack (AD) : Comprises all the counties which aren't generally considered to be in the NYC's sphere of influence. Corresponds more or less to the so-called "upstate New York". 12 EVs.
- New York (NY) : The southernmost part of the State, comprising only NYC and suburbs, would keep its original name. 22 EVs.
- Pennsylvania (PA) : Philadelphia Metro plus eastern part of the State. 13 EVs.
- Allegheny (AY) : Pittsburgh and the western part of the State. 10 EVs.
- Erie (ER) : Since it would make no sense to call it "Northern Ohio", the Cleveland Metro and the northernmost part of the RL Ohio will be given this name. 9 EVs.
- Ohio (OH) : The rest of the RL State. 12 EVs.
- Chicago (CH) : As the name indicates, this state comprises all the Chicago CSA. 16 EVs.
- Illinois (IL) : The RL State without Chicago. 8 EVs.
- North Florida (NF) : Northern part of the State, but also comprising central Florida to equilibrate the two states' population. 12 EVs.
- South Florida (SF) : Comprises Tampa Metro area. 17 EVs.
- Texas (TX) : The easternmost part of the OTL State. 13 EVs.
- Rio Grande (RG) : The southernmost part of OTL State. 12 EVs.
- North Texas (NT) : Comprises the northern plains but also Dallas metro. 14 EVs.
- California (CA) : The original California name would be given to the State comprising mainly the Central Valley. 11 EVs.
- West Coast (WC) : The name that could be given to the northern coastal part of OTL California, with San Francisco as biggest city. 15 EVs.
- California Del Sur (CS) : Because South California would have the same initials of South Carolina. Anyways, this would be the country's most populous State. 32 EVs.

Merged States

- New England (NE) : In fact, comprises only three of the six traditional New England States : VT, NH and ME. 7 EVs.
- Massachusetts (MA) : Would take RI. 13 EVs.
- Maryland (MD) : Would also comprise Delaware and DC. 12 EVs.
- Dakota (DK) : I've chosen to merge SD, ND and NE in only one State. I know it makes it a very big one, but in term of population it'd be at the same level than RL Iowa. 7 EVs.
- Big Sky (BS) : this comprises the whole States of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, as well as the eastern parts of Oregon and Washington. 8 EVs.

Modified States

- Michigan loses its territory at the West of lake Michigan, but that doesn't change anything. 17 EVs.
- Wisconsin, however, by a funny transfert, gains a Congress seat and thus an EV (it also loses Kenosha County to CH, but it's irrelevant). 11 EVs.
- Indiana loses its northwestern counties going to Chicago State and one EV. 10 EVs.
- Nevada takes California's easternmost counties without gaining anything. 5 EVs.
- Oregon loses its easternmost counties to Big Sky, but keeps all its EVs. 7 EVs.
- Instead, Washington loses 1 EV. 10 EVs.

Also, note that due to weird apportionment effects, North Carolina loses a Congress seat and thus will have only 14 EVs in this scenario.


A state-by-state analysis of the 2008 Presidential Election, with county maps etc., coming soon. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 06:56:05 am by Antonio V »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 01:33:23 pm »
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Good map.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 01:54:57 pm »
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No State of Jefferson?

I don't think Upstate New York would be called Ontario, since it might create confusion with the neighboring Canadian province. Adirondack might be a better name.

And Allegheny might be a better for Western PA... but as for Eastern PA it's harder since it includes a bunch of regions... the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania Piedmont, Dutch County, Lehigh Valley, Wyoming Valley, Endless Mountains, Pocono Mountains and Coal Country. Maybe Susquehanna would be a nice name, though the Susquehanna River area flows into West PA and doesn't cover all of East PA... Just an idea.

As for California, another name could be Sacramento or San Joaquin; the names of the two big areas in the Central Valley. West Coast is a cool name, as would be Pacific.

Southern California, could be just plain Southern California, SoCal.


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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 01:59:06 pm »
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Oah, that's impressive. According to all of you, when does such a reform of the electoral map could be put in place?
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Antonio V
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 12:09:40 pm »
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Not a good idea. I read something about it when I redrew California, but even if it could make sense demographically, it definitely doesn't in terms of EVs. With only 400 000 inhabitants, it would become the less populous state of the country, whereas one of my purposes is to limit too big inequalities. So better not.


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I don't think Upstate New York would be called Ontario, since it might create confusion with the neighboring Canadian province. Adirondack might be a better name.

Yeah, I thought to this problem, but couldn't find a better name. Adirondack (AD) seems good, thanks. Wink


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And Allegheny might be a better for Western PA... but as for Eastern PA it's harder since it includes a bunch of regions... the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania Piedmont, Dutch County, Lehigh Valley, Wyoming Valley, Endless Mountains, Pocono Mountains and Coal Country. Maybe Susquehanna would be a nice name, though the Susquehanna River area flows into West PA and doesn't cover all of East PA... Just an idea.

Well, let's rename WP in Allegheny (AY). As for eastern, we should just keep Pennsylvania, since I would like to eliminate the less historic names I can.


Quote
As for California, another name could be Sacramento or San Joaquin; the names of the two big areas in the Central Valley. West Coast is a cool name, as would be Pacific.

Don't like names based on the biggest city, except when the two entities are really confused.


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Southern California, could be just plain Southern California, SoCal.

Well, we'd have a technical problem for the abreviation : how to differentiate it with South Carolina ? An option would be to call it California Del Sur (CS) in reference to the importance of hispanics here, as well as the Mexican origins of California.


Oah, that's impressive. According to all of you, when does such a reform of the electoral map could be put in place?

Probably never. States are too focused on their own "identity" and prerogative to even consider modifying borders.

Welcome in th forum, by the way. Wink



Also, before starting with the State-by-State analysis, here is a little map of what could be regions in the new USA :



Northeast
Rust Belt
Southern East Coast
Gulf South/Deep South
Outer South
Midwest
Great Plains
Southwest
West
West Coast
Pacific
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 03:24:36 pm by Antonio V »Logged

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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 07:02:11 pm »
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Note that very few places are called southERN, or westERN. Note West Virginia, North Dakota, East Timor, South Africa, etc.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 08:03:51 am »
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Well, no other comments ? Sad
Anyways, let's start with new states.



New England


Cosisting in real-life VT, NH and ME, New England would be a solid democratic state. In 2008, Obama's score here would be very close to his real score in Maine, so that we can consider that democrats' enormous margin in Vermont and their far closer one in New Hampshire would almost nullify each other.

NE town map :


NE county map :


Barack Obama : 1,026,011 (58.06%) => 7 EVs
John McCain : 710,781 (40.22%)
Others : 30,387 (1.72%)


Also, for this State-by State analysis, I'll regularly use what I will call "Local Net Political Index", that is a very simple unit permitting to measure how democratic/republican a State is in a tied election. The formula is simply : (Democratic percent in the State - Republican percent in the State) - (Democratic percent in the country - Republican percent in the country). Therefore, a positive LNPI means a state is more democratic that the country, and a negative one means a state is more republican. That will be very useful later to evaluate the consequences of this redrawing on the Electoral College structure.

New England's LNPI is therefore +10.57, what I would qualify of "solid democrat". As a consequence, this fusion would result in a loss for Democrats, since they would win only one state instead of 3, and therefore lose 4 EVs. However, this would secure the two Electoral votes NH brings to the state, whose LNPI was of about 2.3.



Massachusetts


Not a great change, since MA and RI are pretty similar politically. The maps are nice, though. Wink

MA town map :


MA county map :


Barack Obama : 2,200,669 (61.94%) => 13 EVs
John McCain : 1,274,245 (35.87%)
Others : 77,921 (2.19%)


LNPI : +18.81 => solid dem.
This also results in a net loss of 3 EVs for democrats.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 07:33:32 am by Antonio V »Logged

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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 02:15:34 pm »
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This is really cool Antonio. I'm looking forward to further updates.
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2009, 02:28:51 pm »
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Keep it up, quite interesting.
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2009, 08:27:19 pm »
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Cool thread.  Where would the capitals of the merged, splinter, enlarged and shrunken states be (where different from the existing capital for the states not colored in red or blue in your first map)?  Perhaps you could just do that for each state as part of your analysis of that state, while naming the capital for New England and Massachusetts first.
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009, 08:51:39 pm »
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Welcome in th forum, by the way. Wink

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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2009, 06:57:15 am »
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Also, before starting with the State-by-State analysis, here is a little map of what could be regions in the new USA :



Northeast
Rust Belt
Southern East Coast
Gulf South/Deep South
Outer South
Midwest
Great Plains
Southwest
West
West Coast
Pacific

Very nice redrawing, Antonio.
Logical and sound.

I know adding Milwaukee with Chicago would have created too big a state and that many people from those 2 urban areas would kill me, but maybe there is "something" in here.

And, of course, as you've modified Oregon/Washington/Idaho, there would have been something to do with WV/Virginia/Maryland. And, well, in this case, DC would grow with its suburbs.

As for the regions, there is just one thing: one may wonder if Adirondack should not be in the Rust Belt and not in the NE, even if it's not so rusty: just based on electoral behaviour.
(if it's only on geographical criteria, Indiana should in MidWest and WV in Rust Belt; if it's on electoral behaviour, it's Adirondack in Rust Belt).

One final question: have you done your redrawings only on geographical lines or checking electoral maps and the weight of each new state Wink ?
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Antonio V
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 03:06:40 pm »
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I would like to thank anyone who commented it, I'm glad to discover someone is following. Smiley


Cool thread.  Where would the capitals of the merged, splinter, enlarged and shrunken states be (where different from the existing capital for the states not colored in red or blue in your first map)?  Perhaps you could just do that for each state as part of your analysis of that state, while naming the capital for New England and Massachusetts first.

Good Idea, I'll do it now. The capital of MA remains Boston, Whereas NE capital is set in Augusta. Wink


And, of course, as you've modified Oregon/Washington/Idaho, there would have been something to do with WV/Virginia/Maryland. And, well, in this case, DC would grow with its suburbs.

Right, I should also have thought to Wahington. Frankly, I think I was just too tired after doing States like FL, PA, OH or TX, that were really awful to redraw... And the South in general seemed quite equilibrated in terms of EVs, so that I gave up here.


Quote
I know adding Milwaukee with Chicago would have created too big a state and that many people from those 2 urban areas would kill me, but maybe there is "something" in here.

The main reason is that the State also created would be really too big. For the same reason, I renounced to give NYC all its Metro Area, including parts of NJ and CT. I prefer to keep States as "median" as possible in terms of population.


Quote
As for the regions, there is just one thing: one may wonder if Adirondack should not be in the Rust Belt and not in the NE, even if it's not so rusty: just based on electoral behaviour.
(if it's only on geographical criteria, Indiana should in MidWest and WV in Rust Belt; if it's on electoral behaviour, it's Adirondack in Rust Belt).

Well, I'm probably still not expericenced enough on US regions... Sorry fo the mistake. Wink


Quote
One final question: have you done your redrawings only on geographical lines or checking electoral maps and the weight of each new state Wink ?

Well, I was really waiting for this one... Tongue Political questions have obviously been central in my redrawing, though I always tried to avoid senseless gerrymanderings. Particularly for the States I split, I tried to give a political representation to different political areas, so that most of them are split into a "democratic" and a "republican" state. However, I don't know the final consequences of my work in terms of Electoral vote structure. This is the reason why I'm doing this analysis, in order to have a precise idea of the new electoral map. We'll see if it advantaged Democrats or Republicans globally.


Also, let's go with another State. Smiley



New York


New York State would be totally dominated by his homonymous capital, which would make it probably the most democratic State of the country (unless it's Chicago... we'll see). Its 22 Electoral vote would therefore be a solid guarantee for Dems.

NY town map :


NY county map :


Barack Obama : 3,265,245 (68.20%) => 22 EVs
John McCain : 1,486,975 (31.06%)
Others : 35,712 (0.75%)


LNPI : +29.88 => dem stronghold.
Since this State is the result of a split, the net gain or loss it represents for democrats will be known only after analyzing Adirondack. This can result in a democratic gain of 3 Evs or a Republican gain of 12 and a democratic loss of 9.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 07:41:47 am by Antonio V »Logged

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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 05:38:46 pm »
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Fine to see that you'll discover the political result of all this with us Wink
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2009, 10:13:13 pm »
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More!
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2009, 02:49:40 am »
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More!
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Antonio V
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2009, 06:20:33 am »
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More!

Sorry, I'm gonna be buisy for some time, and you should wait until next weekend. Smiley
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

Peppino, from the movie Baaria
Antonio V
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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2009, 01:49:28 pm »
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Bump.

Sorry for the waiting. Here we go with Adirondack. Wink



Adirondack


A bit surprisingly, the State would be relatively democratic. As you can see, results here are almost identical to NH's. That makes Adirondack a solid Obama state in 2008, even if he doesn't comprise any county related with NYC metro area. Also to note the good showing of "Others" (don't know if it's Nader of someone else), that makes me think to New England...

AD county map :


Barack Obama : 1,539,700 (53.97%) => 12 EVs
John McCain : 1,265,796 (44.37%)
Others : 47,520 (1.67%)


LNPI : +2.34 => lean dem.
As a consequence, we can now certify that the split of New York would benefit to the Democrats, gaining 3 EVs and partly compensating for the two previous fusions.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 07:47:53 am by Antonio V »Logged

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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

Peppino, from the movie Baaria
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2009, 04:27:00 pm »
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Bump.

Sorry for the waiting. Here we go with Adirondack. Wink



Adirondack


A bit surprisingly, the State would be relatively democratic. As you can see, results here are almost identical to NH's. That makes Adirondack a solid Obama state in 2008, even if he doesn't comprise any county related with NYC metro area. Also to note the good showing of "Others" (don't know if it's Nader of someone else), that makes me think to New England...

AD county map :


Barack Obama : 1,539,700 (53.97%)
John McCain : 1,265,796 (44.37%)
Others : 47,520 (1.67%)


LNPI : 2.34 => lean dem.
As a consequence, we can now certify that the split of New York would benefit to the Democrats, gaining 2 EVs and partly compensating for the two previous fusions.

This is great! This confirms my suspicions that Upstate New York votes similarly to Pennsylvania.

Keep em' coming!
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2009, 10:41:32 pm »
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Would Albany, as an existing capital, be the capital of Adirondack?  Or would the capital be at a more central location within the new state like Syracuse?
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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2009, 12:41:31 am »
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Would Albany, as an existing capital, be the capital of Adirondack?  Or would the capital be at a more central location within the new state like Syracuse?

Sorry, forgot this point.
Well, let's say that they choose to keep the State's buildings in Albany in order to make institutions work immediately. Wink Anyways, Syracuse could also be an option.
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22:15   ComradeSibboleth   this is all extremely terrible and in all respects absolutely fycking dire.

It really is.



"A reformist is someone who realizes that, when you bang your head on a wall, it's the head that breaks rather than the wall."

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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2009, 04:24:12 pm »
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Please continue! Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2009, 11:46:21 pm »
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This is my dream map for several reasons.  The first reason is obvious.  The second is that I can see no reason why this wouldn't benefit my party.  You basically just split up every state, except Texas, that is reliably Democratic.
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2009, 12:11:38 am »
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Call it Southern California, not San Bernardino.
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« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2009, 12:57:34 am »
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This is great! Keep it coming! Smiley
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