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View Diary: Barack Obama '51 percent watch': 50.91 (98 comments)

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  •  Oops, forgot the (1+ / 0-)
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    best one.

    To summarize: be careful what you wish for. If every state adopted non-partisan redistricting commissions, for whom geographical compactness of the district was the prime criterion for drawing lines, it would introduce a substantial and permanent Republican bias into the process.

    Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

    by cardinal on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:37:17 AM PST

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    •  So most states are gerrymandered in favor of (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats now?

      Kinda makes a mockery of small 'd' democracy, eh?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:54:52 AM PST

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      •  "Gerrymander" generally refers (0+ / 0-)

        to intentional manipulation of the lines for partisan ends; so, by that definition, there are actually more Republican gerrymanders than Democratic ones at the moment. But the point is that, were we to move to a system that values geographic continuity above all else (and that's not the only way to draw non-partisan lines, but it's the most obvious), then it would favor Republicans across the country.

        Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

        by cardinal on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:00:41 PM PST

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        •  How do you figure? (0+ / 0-)

          If you look at a map, larger metropolitan areas tend to go for Dems and the vast nothingness that's left of the rest of the country votes red. I've lived in Irving, TX since 2003. My congressman Kenny Marchant, I couldn't spot on a wanted poster. I have no idea what the guy looks like. For the most part the area was predominantly minority and yet somehow, every other year the guy keeps getting elected. If they didn't keep splitting the district up so that they shared it with the whitest areas of Tarrant County (Ft. Worth) and the 32nd with the whitest areas of Dallas that minorities get pulled over for just being in the neighborhoods, there's no way would he would keep getting elected.

          •  Look at a precinct-level (1+ / 0-)
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            map of voting patterns in DFW, and it will become clearer. Remember first that the most efficient district for a party is one in which the party has about 55-65% of the vote. Anything beyond that, and you're wasting votes that could swing other districts.

            So back to the maps. Democrats cluster in tight geographic areas: North and East Fort Worth, much of Dallas proper, etc. The older suburbs are more mixed, and the newer suburbs (far NE Tarrant, etc.) are heavily Republican. But, since Republicans form a widely dispersed ring around the dense Democratic areas, it's far more likely that Democrats will be packed together in inefficient districts, whereas Republican majorities are likely to be smaller and thus more efficient.

            Scholars have examined the entire US and shown convincingly that Democrats cluster in ways that would bias non-partisan maps against us. See the links within the stories I linked above.

            Grew a mustache and a mullet / Got a job at Chick-Fil-A

            by cardinal on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:47:39 PM PST

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