This week we have interactive state legislative district maps for Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and West Virginia. Each legislative chamber is mapped out using the presidential election results calculated by Daily Kos Elections, the legislative election results, and some info on each legislator. For maps of 18 other states' legislative chambers see the first, second, and third in this series.
Districts in solid blue were carried by Obama and are represented by a Democrat, while those in solid red were won by Mitt Romney and are held by a Republican. Lighter red districts voted for Obama and a Republican legislator, while those in lighter blue went for Romney and a Democratic legislator. All vacant seats are assigned to the party that last won them. Note that the map displays use only the two-party vote to give you a more equivalent comparison between presidential and legislative results, but the diary and Daily Kos Elections' numbers include totals for third party candidates, though the differences are minor.
Wisconsin State Senate
Wisconsin Republicans exercised full control over redistricting and used it to deliver them majorities despite losing the popular vote in both chambers. Obama carried 16 districts, two of which are held by Republicans, while Romney carried 17 with a Democrat representing just one. This gives the Republicans an 18 to 15 majority. All three senators in hostile territory are retiring in 2014, though only Democrat John Lehman is leaving due to redistricting (his seat transformed into a reliably red seat). The median district voted for Romney 50-49 making it eight percent more Republican than the state. The chamber could potentially flip to Democrats in a good cycle, but only half the seats are up every two years.
Wisconsin State Assembly
The State Assembly is a bit tougher for Democrats with Obama winning only 43 districts to Romney's 56. Two Democrats sit in Romney seats while six Republicans are in Obama territory, giving Republicans a hefty 60 to 39 majority. The median district was won by Romney 51-48, placing it 10 points to the right of the state.
Please head below the fold to see the maps for Massachusetts and West Virginia.
Massachusetts State Senate
As we saw with Rhode Island last week, Democratic control over redistricting was not required for the party to elect a huge super-majority in a state as blue as Massachusetts. Despite being a former governor, Romney lost all 40 Senate districts. Democrats hold a 36 to four majority in the Senate, with four Obama seats being represented by Republicans. The median district was carried by the president 59-40, four percent more Republican than his statewide performance. Massachusetts is one of the few states that names its districts by location rather than assigning them numbers.
Massachusetts State House of Representatives
Republicans are in a slightly less terrible position in the lower house with Romney winning 25 districts to Obama's 135. Nine Democrats and 13 Republicans sit in seats which the other party's presidential candidate carried, giving Democrats a 131 to 29 super-majority. The median seat in the chamber voted for Obama by an average of 59-40 just like the Senate and was four points more Republican than the state.
West Virginia State Senate (Presidential Years)
West Virginia State Senate (Midterm Years)
West Virginia is one of the most unique states in the nation when it comes to voting patterns because partisan polarization is the lowest of any state we've measured so far (and perhaps in any state). Romney carried every single Senate district, but correlation between presidential and down-ballot performance was statistically zero in 2012. Democrats hold a 24 to 10 super-majority, though it is increasingly imperiled by the state's rightward trend. The median district voted for Romney 65-33, which was five points to the right of his statewide margin.
Senators serve four-year terms and each of the 17 districts elects two members staggered between presidential and midterm cycles, thus the Democratic majority is probably safe for 2014. However, a good performance this year for Republicans would set them up to be able to take over the chamber after 2016 when the class of 2012 is up again. Note that when Republicans eventually win control they will only need a simple majority to override vetoes on non-revenue bills.
West Virginia State House of Delegates
The House of Delegates has 67 separate districts, but some elect multiple members for 100 total seats. Because some of those multi-member districts elected a split delegation while voting for Romney they are colored the lightest blue. Obama carried four seats (each with one state delegate each) while Romney carried each of the other 96 delegate's seats. However, Democrats maintain a majority of 53 to the Republicans' 47. The median seats went for Romney 62-35, which was one point better than his statewide margin.
This chamber saw what may be the widest disparity between presidential and legislative performance of the over 7,000 state and federal districts across the country. In HD-21 along the Kentucky/Virginia border, Democratic Del. Harry White won 73 percent while Obama won just 23 percent. Unlike the Senate, Democratic control of the House is in immediate danger this cycle with Republicans in an excellent position to take control of the chamber for the first time since before the Great Depression. Although Democrats drew the maps, gerrymandering the state is a lot harder than most because polarization is so low.