Nov 18, 2022Liked by Sam Wang

You missed Nevada - they made “Hispanic pie” out of Las Vegas in order to have three non-Hispanic democrats, as opposed to an Hispanic democrat, a non-Hispanic democrat and a republican. Gain of plus one D for this.

Expand full comment
Nov 18, 2022Liked by Sam Wang

I think that Arizona also falls into the "petite gerrymander" territory. In a pretty evenly divided state, the 5D/4R Congressional delegation went to 6R/3D. And in particular CD2 was adjusted enough to take out Rep. O'Halleran, a pretty popular Congressman. Election deniers largely lost at the statewide level, but given the new boundaries this was not true for the Congressional delegation.

Expand full comment

SUPERB! Much appreciated. Our process of electing single member legislatures at the national and state levels in a farce and disgraceful, esp. with FPP (as defined by the Elect.ReformSoc. out of UK). There are still far too many districts in which there is no semblance of a contest, as you sagely noted.

Expand full comment

"Basically, this map anticipated a red wave that would carry all the close districts. But in the end, the wave was no more than a mist. Democrats won in the 3rd and 13th districts by 5 points. The resulting delegation, 10 Republicans and 5 Democrats, is only one seat more than the Ohio constitution would mandate."

Great article, and I'm still reading through it right now, but I believe there was a small mistake in the excerpt above. The two districts that Democrats won last week in Ohio by 5 points were the 1st and 13th. The 3rd district is the Columbus seat that is very blue.

Expand full comment

Sam, great analysis and I agree with almost all of your quantitative assessments, and you're right that FL's gerrymander has yet to deliver its full impact. I view Maryland's natural split (for a compact map) as 7-1 as there is about a half-chance of generating an R district in the extreme west and a half-chance of generating an R district on the Eastern shore. A few corrections for my state of Ohio: 1) Part of the mess is that the newly amended state constitution is unclear on what a fair split should be. Partisan symmetry and party-neutral expectations differ by nearly a full seat. 2) The Congressional map will hold for four years if the state Supreme Court (which like NC, has just moved to the right) reverses course and deems the current map constitutional. However, if the current court order is respected, in a new map is required for 2024 3) The ability of the Dems to pick up 3 competitive seats in Ohio is not a simple dummymander, but the combination of constitutional language, geography and political backlash to the Ohio legislature's original extreme proposal for 2022. In other words, IMO the mapmakers deemed it too politically risky to split Toledo, split Akron, and/or stuck with the legislature's scheme for Cincinnati, even though these could be done without violating technical no-split requirements. The creation of an excess of competitive districts became part of the cover story. Given the huge mess in legislative redistricting, a more extreme Congressional map would have surely triggered another referendum to establish an independent commission -- though that move is still being contemplated by the advocacy groups here.

Expand full comment

Thank you for liking my comment. Both parties are basically competing Mafioso families and the primary system, coupled with no term limits and horrible gerrymandering, is undermining what is left of our Republican vitality. I fear we may lurch in to a South American type fiasco. A larger House of Reps elected mostly or largely on proportional bases (albeit I dislike the AVM used in NYC) , with run offs, is most salutary. In Maryland, e.g., many legislators win by small PLURALITIES with no run offs.....its a farce. The Electoral College should also end winner take all. I understand Sam's blog is focused on a different set of concerns and is astute, but so long as were are mooting reform here.........Cheers!

Expand full comment

The NY map was a Republican gerrymander by the Special Master appointed by an Upstate Republican judge.

The special master put 10 Democrats into 5 districts. He didn’t do that to the Republicans. Republicans are only 23% of the electorate but the way the special master drew the maps he gave them at least 1/3 of the seats

Let me give an example of how clear his bias was.

In 2012 there was also a special master. He drew fair maps. For example.

The .Staten Island seat was a Republican seat normally. The historical maps had all of Staten Island and a part of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn part was more Democratic but initially not by much.

HOWEVER the special master in 2022, while also adding a Brooklyn part to the Staten Island seat, he chose one of the FEW Republican enclaves in Brooklyn to add to that map.

That is a sign of bias and can be considered a judicial gerrymander via special master.

Expand full comment

I was not providing misleading information

I was talking about REGISTERED voters NOT who voted in this election.

Republicans are 23% pf registered voters..

Democrats are more than twice that

The rest are unaffiliated.

Who voted in a particular election is not the measure

And of course the special master did not have the after election numbers.

So he couldn't be hewing to them.

But he did have earlier elections where the percentage I cited between Republicans and Democrats are more or less following the registered voter numbers I cited

And if it i so wonderful to pit incumbents against each other then why didn't the special master do that to Republicans? Because incumbents have a better chance of being elected?

And I heartily disagree that ignoring where legislators live is to not favor them. Ignoring where they live is to actively disfavor them,...and more importantly the constituents they represent. It is the opposite of actually trying to serve the voters faithfully.

I testified at the hearings. First the constituents who spoke about the legislators who were representing them made it very clear that that these legislators knew their districts and they endeavored mightily to help them. So I think it is just a false platitude of redistricting that ignoring where legislators live is attentive to the needs of the community. It is really just the opposite.

This special master divided Manhattan north to south. Never in its entire history had this ever been done! It was always divided east by west. By the way he ignored and violated every criteria of communities of interest....subway lines, bus lines, school districts, police stations, water pipes, community boards... there is NO SUBWAY LINE GOING across Central Park. If 10% of the people in that new district thought that was good for them I would would be shocked. It also meant that one powerful and influential Democrat would lose a seat. That seemed to be feature and not a bug. And the rationale the special master gave amounted to "so what"

I do want to say that in testifying and the questions I was asked by the commissioners, especially the Republicans, made it clear they were not operating in good faith. They knew they could obstruct and delay and never have to compromise on a bipartisan map. Why Because unlike every other redistricting commission I know of...NY had an even number. of people....10 members. A commission designed for deadlock. The Republicans had all along planned to forum shop for an upstate Republican judge ( in NY judges are elected on party lines) to overturn the legislature's maps.

Expand full comment

I'm not sure how you get that Republicans didn't gain any seats in Florida. Surely they at least gained Al Lawson's seat after DeSantis dismantled the VRA compliant 5th district. I'd also argue that if the 7th and 13th were more competitive Democrats might have made different choices and would have won at leats 1 of them.

Expand full comment