Or, how about this map of the Detroit area:
And finally (and also to show it’s not just a Republican thing), this one of Maryland’s 3rd congressional district:
So, obviously there’s a problem here. But how to show it in a nice concrete, mathematical way?
This one is actually pretty straightforward. Here’s what I did:
- Totally eliminated Louisiana (they have some weird system where that does not pit Republicans and Democrats against each other straight up)
- Calculated the percentage of Republicans in each house delegation (e.g., Mississippi, with 3 Republicans and 1 Democrat, comes in at 75%)
- Calculated the percentage of Republican votes cast in all house races (once again, Mississippi, with 681,000 Republican votes to 450,000 Democratic ones, come in at 60%)
- Subtracted the difference between the two, to see what kind of advantage dividing the state up into districts might have had (in Mississippi’s case, 15%)
- Ranked them all
Let’s see what we came up with …
There are actually 11 states out there that are solely Republican or solely Democrat. Now, some of them have only 1 congressional delegate to begin with, so we really can’t point to gerrymandering in those instances. I’ve gone ahead and shown those here, but with light shading to distinguish them:
A couple of things to note:
- The Republicans have a distinct advantage, 11 to 6
- They are strongest in the Plains and mountains, the Dems in the Northeast
- Massachusetts wins the prize for 1-party state, with the highest number of delegates all of one party, at 9
Too True Blue
So, I think we can already see that this can go both ways. Now, here are the states that had 10% more delegates than they should have had, based on state-wide votes:
Note that I did eliminate the states with only 1 delegate (no chance of gerrymandering there).
Now, just to give you an idea of the strength of these differences, here’s a nice bar chart:
So, except for Nevada, pretty much the usual suspects, right?
Too True Red
And here’s what it looks like on the other side of the aisle:
And numbers wise:
No surprise there with the solid South, but how about all those states in the Midwest?
So, is there anyone playing fair out there? Luckily, there are a few. Here are the 10 states that were under 10%, positive or negative:
And here’s how that shook out exactly:
Pretty scattered around, no? Also, some of these seemed pretty obviously purple – Illinois and Colorado, in particular. I really am wondering, though, what Texas (on one side) and New York (on the other) are doing here.
- Republicans win the gerrymandering sweepstakes, with a score of 22 states over the 10% threshold to 10 for the Dems
- New Hampshire wins the most gerrymandered state award with a difference of -48% (it has 2 Democratic congressmen, though only 52% of the state voted for a Democratic candidate)
- Arizona gets the least gerrymandered state award, with a difference of only 1% (Maine comes in 2nd with 2%)
- There are other, much more detailed ways to looks at this (ways that I will leave to the professionals), but I did think this was rather interesting as a quick read