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  "Will Rogers phenomenon" state redistricting challenge
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Author Topic: "Will Rogers phenomenon" state redistricting challenge  (Read 5591 times)
Nichlemn
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« on: November 18, 2011, 11:25:15 pm »

The challenge: redraw the boundaries between two states to make both of them more Democratic or both more Republican, ala the Will Rigers phenomenon. The best way is to find two bordering states that have a large partisan gap between them and find counties about halfway between to give from one state to the other.

Bonus points for clean lines, communities of interest, sizeable shifts in both states and avoiding near-complete absorption of one state by the other. (Although in reality redrawing states would result in some voter shifts, ignore them for the purpose of this exercise).


I'm not able to create good images, but you're welcome to. Here's an example:

Give the four New Hampshire counties that border Vermont from the former to the latter. NH goes from giving Obama 54.9% of the two party vote to 53.1%. George W. Bush wins NH in 2004 under these lines. Vermont goes from giving Obama 68.9% of the two party vote to 67.0% - obviously not competitive at the Presidential level, but possibly enough to give Brian Dubie the governorship in 2010. Also, the lines look clean, with the Vermont and New Hampshire looking like they had proportionally expanded and shrunk, respectively.
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Teddy (IDS Legislator)
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 11:34:53 pm »

Easy, give me 5 minutes.
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Teddy (IDS Legislator)
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 11:40:35 pm »

http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?authuser=0&ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=214668381355121949879.0004b20ef9ba6a5815802
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 12:05:28 am »


It doesn't look like you've understood the exercise, although those boundaries are sufficiently imprecise it's hard to be sure (you could be meaning metro areas). Giving Philadelphia from PA to NJ for instance does not make both states more Republican or more Democratic, instead it makes PA more Republican at the expense of making NJ more Democratic.
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Dr. RI
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 12:31:56 am »
« Edited: November 19, 2011, 12:40:29 am by realisticidealist »

Give Eastern Washington to Idaho. In the 2008 Presidential election, new Washington voted 60.91% Dem (up from 57.34% Dem), and the new Idaho voted 57.78%-39.37% Republican (down from 61.21%-35.91% Rep).
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Dr. RI
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 12:48:21 am »

If you give Jackson County, Illinois to Missouri in 2008, Illinois gets .01% more Democratic and Missouri flips to the Dems by about 1,000 votes.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 12:52:33 am »

Another challenge for the extra-ambitious: try to give many more Senate seats to either the Republicans or Democrats by redrawing state boundaries sensibly and basing your results on the last election for each Senate seat.

Assume that counties new to a state vote on a uniform swing from the most recent Presidential result, e.g. a 47% Kerry county new to a 40% Kerry state would vote 55% Kerry in a 2006 Senate election where the Democrat got 48% of the two party vote.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 09:10:01 am »

It shouldn't be hard to find a country in western Colorado that would make both Utah and Colorado more Democratic.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 09:35:53 am »

Adding Omaha's county to Iowa would make both NE and IA more Republican... but would probably help Democrats on balance, by moving one electoral vote to a tilt-Dem state.  Super-paradox! 
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 09:36:56 am »
« Edited: November 19, 2011, 09:43:11 am by Nichlemn »

It shouldn't be hard to find a country in western Colorado that would make both Utah and Colorado more Democratic.

There are three such counties that border Utah, but interestingly the other five are all more Republican than Utah was in 2008. Colorado is kind of tricky to do this with since nearly all of its counties that border other states are Republican strongholds.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 09:40:09 am »

It shouldn't be hard to find a country in western Colorado that would make both Utah and Colorado more Democratic.

There are three such counties that border Utah, but interesting the other five are all more Republican than Utah was in 2008. Colorado is kind of tricky to do this with since nearly all of its counties that border other states are Republican strongholds.
Though moving Conejos (and a chain of Alamosa, Huerfano and Pueblo... each does alright individually) to New Mexico makes both states marginally more Republican.
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Brittain33
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 09:41:06 am »

This is specific to the 2008 election and the dynamics of rural and small city Dems not voting for Obama, but moving Fayette, Washington, and Greene county in SW PA to West Virginia moves both states to Obama.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 09:42:18 am »

Clark and/or Washoe to California.

Riverside and/or SB to Arizona.

There's only one such county (Hidalgo) on either side of the NM-AZ line.
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Nichlemn
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 09:42:50 am »

Adding Omaha's county to Iowa would make both NE and IA more Republican... but would probably help Democrats on balance, by moving one electoral vote to a tilt-Dem state.  Super-paradox! 

Not really, as making two states more Republican(/Democratic) necessarily adds more population to the more Democratic(/Republican) of the two. Will Rogering states ain't a free lunch.
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dpmapper
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« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 01:15:14 pm »

Adding Omaha's county to Iowa would make both NE and IA more Republican... but would probably help Democrats on balance, by moving one electoral vote to a tilt-Dem state.  Super-paradox! 

Not really, as making two states more Republican(/Democratic) necessarily adds more population to the more Democratic(/Republican) of the two. Will Rogering states ain't a free lunch.

It's a paradox in the same way that the Will Rogers paradox is a paradox.  Smiley

But it's not always the case that making two states more D via the Will Rogers paradox will actually help the R's.  For instance, the example above where a light-blue county in Illinois goes to MO, making both states more D, would tend to help the Dems - they'll gladly trade the 1 guaranteed EV for a better shot at all of Missouri's. 

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Kevinstat
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2011, 02:23:13 pm »

Based on BRTD's past description of regional variations in Minnesota and North Dakota, I imagine there's a decent chunk of "Will Rogers-izing" territory on either side of that boundary.  Adding Petersonland to North Dakota would make both states more Democratic, while shifting the boundary westward would make both states more Republican.  Others would know better, though.
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freepcrusher
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 03:06:51 pm »

give the Clovis/Hobbs/Portales part of NM to TX.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2011, 03:47:44 pm »

give the Clovis/Hobbs/Portales part of NM back to TX.

I doubt that would make TX more Democratic.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2011, 03:59:23 pm »

give the Clovis/Hobbs/Portales part of NM back to TX.

I doubt that would make TX more Democratic.
Indeed, there's no whole county along that line on the NM side that works. Though moving Reeves or Hudspeth County to New Mexico would make both states more Republican. (Moving Hudspeth would also split Texas in two.)
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Miles
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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2011, 04:36:16 pm »

I have an example!

Moving Berkeley and Jefferson counties from WV to VA makes them both redder.

The 2 counties, combined, gave McCain 53.2% of the two-party vote to Obama's 46.8%.

Before moving them, Obama's statewide share of the two-party vote in WV is 43.3%; without Jefferson and Berkley, it goes down to 43.0%.

In VA, Obama's two-party vote subsequently declines from 53.18% to 53.08%.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2011, 04:37:40 pm »

I have an example!

Moving Berkley and Jefferson counties from WV to VA makes them both redder.

The 2 counties, combined, gave McCain 53.2% of the two-party vote to Obama's 46.8.

Before moving them, Obama's statewide share of the two-party vote in WV is 43.3%; without Jefferson and Berkley, it goes down to 43.0%.

In VA, Obama's two-party vote subsequently declines from 53.18% to 53.08%.
You don't need to calculate the exact results. If a county on the state line is has a result between that of the state it's in and that of the state it borders, it's a valid example.

Pretty obvious that there'd be many.
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Miles
MilesC56
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« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2011, 04:38:16 pm »

I have an example!

Moving Berkley and Jefferson counties from WV to VA makes them both redder.

The 2 counties, combined, gave McCain 53.2% of the two-party vote to Obama's 46.8.

Before moving them, Obama's statewide share of the two-party vote in WV is 43.3%; without Jefferson and Berkley, it goes down to 43.0%.

In VA, Obama's two-party vote subsequently declines from 53.18% to 53.08%.
You don't need to calculate the exact results. If a county on the state line is has a result between that of the state it's in and that of the state it borders, it's a valid example.

Pretty obvious that there'd be many.

Well, excuse me for going the extra mile! Sad
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2011, 04:40:00 pm »

I have an example!

Moving Berkley and Jefferson counties from WV to VA makes them both redder.

The 2 counties, combined, gave McCain 53.2% of the two-party vote to Obama's 46.8.

Before moving them, Obama's statewide share of the two-party vote in WV is 43.3%; without Jefferson and Berkley, it goes down to 43.0%.

In VA, Obama's two-party vote subsequently declines from 53.18% to 53.08%.
You don't need to calculate the exact results. If a county on the state line is has a result between that of the state it's in and that of the state it borders, it's a valid example.

Pretty obvious that there'd be many.

Well, excuse me for going the extra mile! Sad
Oh, nothing wrong with that, of course... especially if the counties are large enough to have a major / interesting effect (what's the result for Nevada minus Clark and Washoe?) Just pointing out you don't need it to doublecheck.
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Miles
MilesC56
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2011, 04:41:29 pm »

I have an example!

Moving Berkley and Jefferson counties from WV to VA makes them both redder.

The 2 counties, combined, gave McCain 53.2% of the two-party vote to Obama's 46.8.

Before moving them, Obama's statewide share of the two-party vote in WV is 43.3%; without Jefferson and Berkley, it goes down to 43.0%.

In VA, Obama's two-party vote subsequently declines from 53.18% to 53.08%.
You don't need to calculate the exact results. If a county on the state line is has a result between that of the state it's in and that of the state it borders, it's a valid example.

Pretty obvious that there'd be many.

Well, excuse me for going the extra mile! Sad
Oh, nothing wrong with that, of course... especially if the counties are large enough to have a major / interesting effect (what's the result for Nevada minus Clark and Washoe?) Just pointing out you don't need it to doublecheck.

Its good; I just needed to waste time and I like to crunch numbers.
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Dynamite Shovel
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« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2011, 12:36:44 am »

Based on BRTD's past description of regional variations in Minnesota and North Dakota, I imagine there's a decent chunk of "Will Rogers-izing" territory on either side of that boundary.  Adding Petersonland to North Dakota would make both states more Democratic, while shifting the boundary westward would make both states more Republican.  Others would know better, though.

This works.

So does putting Douglas County, NE in Iowa to make both more Republican.
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