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View Diary: Did Gerrymandering Cost Dems the House? A 34-State Look at Alternative Nonpartisan Maps Suggests Yes (161 comments)

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  •  Great work (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf, salmo, elwior, sturunner

    Wow - you put a lot of work into this.

    To a small extent at least, doesn't the effect of gerrymandering decrase as the decade moves on, i.e, maximum effect in 2012 and minimum effect in 2020?

    •  Thanks and yes that's very true (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, sturunner, James Allen

      and the housing bubble certainly played a large role in last decade's districts shifting under their members' feet, particularly in Florida.

      Unfortunately though, when legislatures gerrymander they higher professionals (lawyers, I'm assuming people knowledgeable on demographic trends, in addition to electoral experts) who anticipate some of these trends, but with any venture that tries to predict the future it is imperfect.

      It still isn't a huge degree though and we typically see it more in states with a lot of competitive districts already such as California where many of them will become solidly Dem by 2020. In a state such as Michigan? probably not too much.

      •  Yeah, it so happens that the most effective (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stephen Wolf, elwior

        gerrymanders are in some of the most stagnant states - MI, OH, PA. So demographic/population change alone probably won't do much for us in those places.

        It would be an interesting follow-up to try to figure out where the gerrymanders are most likely to unravel by 2020. I'm guessing Virginia? Maybe Florida...? Bet we gain a seat each in NJ and NV, too, based on demographic change.

        •  I would bet Virginia or Florida too if not for the (5+ / 0-)

          patter that in the south unfortunately a lot of the Dem growth is in places that are already packed into Dem vote sinks, like Fairfax County Virginia and parts of Prince William. I might even wager North Carolina as the 9th district is clearly moving towards us and there's a good chance the 2nd and 13th might as well, but the flip side of that is the 7th is trending away so I couldn't really say conclusively. I'll definitely think about this conversation if I'm still in this line of hobby/work 8 years from now.

          One thing that seems destined to happen though is in California where demographic creep alone will cause many of our districts to solidify and the GOP ones to become swingy simply because there's a massive generational gap and it's only growing wider. We'll eventually get to the point where seats like CA-22 and 23 become somewhat competitive, though it might be a little more than 10 years in that case. That area of the central valley is something like >80% Hispanic under 18 if not more and most of those people are citizens eligible to vote when they turn 18.

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