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Past diaries in this series:
Pennsylvania (17)
Illinois (17)
Alabama (6) and Minnesota (7)
North Carolina (14)

Ohio, like many Midwestern and North Atlantic states, has been growing much slower than the national rate for a while. As such the Buckeye State has lost 1-2 CDs every decade since its peak in the 1970s.

2010 was a crucial year for Ohio Democrats, and unfortunately little could be done to stop the red tide. As a result, Ohio Republicans came up with a map that could easily stand up next to North Carolina's as the least fair map in the country. You can see that map here.

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Past diaries in this series:
Illinois (17)
Alabama (6) and Minnesota (7)
North Carolina (14)

Pennsylvania has lost at least once congressional district in every census since 1930, and 2020 doesn't appear to be any different according to current projections, with the Keystone State on track to lose one district.

After the red wave of 2010, Republicans were once again able to gerrymander the map, and by all accounts did a better job than they did in 2000. With the state losing a district, this is my crack at a PA map less one district.

Here's the current map.

As before, note: This is fantasy redistrict, not a realistic expectation of what the map will look like in 2021. Just one political junkie's expression of what the map could look like.

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Part Three!

North Carolina
Alabama and Minnesota

Now we tackle Illinois. In the 2010 cycle, Illinois was one of two states, functionally, where Democrats controlled the process and actually took advantage of it (the other of course was Maryland). And in both cases, while they mostly succeeded, they didn't do it perfectly. Democrats successfully targeted 4 Republican incumbents, combined two incumbents into one district and went after one more district, though they narrowly failed. In 2014, Team Blue lost two districts, one in North Chicagoland and the other downstate.

Here's my attempt to shore up Democrats after the Prairie State loses another district in 2020.

Here's the current map

As before, I must stress this is not what I expect will happen in 2020 in Illinois or any of the previous states, merely one political junkie's expression of what could happen.

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Continuing this little series of speculative maps for what state congressional maps could look like after the 2020 Census. North Carolina was my last go.

As I mentioned last time, North Carolina missed out on a 14th district just barely at the expense of Minnesota keeping its 8th district, but there's nothing The Land of 10,000 lakes can do this time to hold on to MN-08.

Alabama too has just not been growing fast enough to hold onto its 7th District.

Here are the current maps for Alabama, a largely inoffensive map, though a more aggressive DoJ would have pushed for a second majority black district, and Minnesota, a court-drawn map after the Democratic Governor and Republican legislature couldn't come to a compromise.

As before, I must stress this is not what I expect will happen in 2020 in either of these states, merely one political junkie's expression of what could happen.

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What are you talking about, too early?

Lately I've been kicking around a series of maps anticipating the reapportionment changes that will come with the 2020 United States Census. So why not share them with you?

My first entrant is North Carolina. North Carolina very narrowly missed getting a 14th congressional district in the 2010 Census, missing out because Minnesota barely clung to their 8th CD by virtue of high response rates. So Dave's Redistricting App data for North Carolina is already primed for 14 districts, making this an easy first exercise.

Caveats: Likely Republicans will still control the NC General Assembly in 2020, and even if we have a Democratic Governor, the governor has no control over the redistricting process. But, I am not good at drawing Republican gerrymanders. Either that or I subconsciously refuse to do so. So all of these are somewhere between an inoffensive court-drawn map or a slight Democratic gerrymander. Apologies.

You can look at North Carolina's current districts here

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Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 11:19 PM PDT

Women in the 114th Congress: Senate

by HoosierD42

No matter what decriers of "identity politics" say, diversity of opinion, and therefore diversity of biology matters. Women have been asserting their right to be heard more and more in recent years, and there are now a record 20 women in the Senate, but that's still pretty sad in a country where the population is 51% female, and the electorate 53%.

Anyway, this is a just an excuse to take a look at what the gender balance of Congress might look like on January 3, 2015. This diary will look at the Senate races, and a forthcoming one will look at the House.


How do you think the gender balance will tilt in November?

1%1 votes
0%0 votes
7%5 votes
12%8 votes
27%18 votes
27%18 votes
24%16 votes

| 66 votes | Vote | Results

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As pairs of states go, it's difficult to get more similar than the Dakotas, at least geographically: large, rural states with large Native populations and whose population centers are oriented on the eastern border of the states.

Politically as well, they are two states where the federal/state level divide has lasted a long time: in North Dakota, from 1987-2011, all three members of Congress were Democrats, even as the state hasn't had a Democratic Governor since, 1993. In South Dakota, Democrats haven't elected a Governor of their own since 1979, but from 2004-2011, 2/3 statewide federal officeholders were Democrats.

Now, political realignment has found the Dakotas. Only 2/6 federal officeholders are now Democrats, and that number will likely be 1/6 after the 2014 elections. It's getting bleaker by the year to be a Democrat in the great plains.

So I wanted to show how the Democrats and Republicans could get 1 Dakota each. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: East and West Dakota.

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Parts One, Two, Three and Four

Now we'll move on to the State Supreme Courts, which I'll split into two parts. Things get a little different here.

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Still going at it!

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A continuation of my pocket guide, started here, this time covering the federal district courts, the next level down.

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Maybe this has always been the case, but it seems like the Courts have had an increasing role in how our elections work lately. Redistricting, new laws, etc. are becoming more common. And from a non-electorally focused POV, the Courts are always relevant, providing a constitutional bulwark against potential abuses of power by legislatures and executives.

So I wanted to provide a guide to how these courts look, so we can look at what decisions are coming from where through the proper lens.

A quick disclaimer: Judges are, of course, supposed to be nonpartisan and only follow laws and precedent, but that's not always the case. Even so, there can be divisions within the "partisan" divide. A G.H.W. Bush- or even Reagan-appointed judge is going to be less partisan than a G.W. Bush judge. Democratic-appointed judges are less likely to be partisan at all, but Obama-appointed judges are more likely to be more liberal than Clinton- or Carter-appointed judges. So this is not a definitive guide to how any particular court will decide a particular issue. But it can help. Thanks for reading.

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