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Would you be good at Gerrymandering?
By Curt_Anderson
November 10, 2022 3:46 pm
Category: Government

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I made this diagram of an imaginary state with 12 congressional districts. In this hypothetical state, the Republican voters have a 51% to 49% advantage. The red dots represent Republican voters and blue are the Democrats.

If a Republican legislature wanted all but one district to be strongly GOP-leaning they might come up with gerrymandering plan to corral all the Democrats into one district. In my example, the Democrats would account for 83% of the vote in their single district. The other 11 districts would tilt 54% toward the GOP.

I wonder if that is a significant advantage. In that single Democratic district, a candidate who is a Democrat is lock to win. In the other 11 districts, the Republican candidates have an edge slightly better than 50% but it is impacted by the quality of the candidate, voter mood and the fact the voters move from one district to another and that voters move in and out state. Of course, voters die and new voters arise. Not to mention there is always a share of the electorate who are independents and not aligned with either major party.

If you were in position to redraw districts, how would you divide up the districts to be to your party's political advantage? I have a feeling it's either said than done.

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Comments on "Would you be good at Gerrymandering?":

  1. by oldedude on November 10, 2022 7:31 pm
    I'll be the first. I would have to know and understand because this is about far more than "bulbs" in a 3x3x3 square. It's about people. I agree that this is much of the way "there is choice." I do expect reasonableness. I understand (working in four different countries) this is naturally impossible without outside interference.

    I will fight against left or right in an illegal election. I've done it before by moving troops off the line to see who you voted for and burning a vote if you voted the wrong way. I will tell you that I wasn't in the Congo at any time in history.

    Sheep are not going down to the lowest common denominator. They go to where they are comfortable. Not to reality.

  2. by oldedude on November 10, 2022 7:33 pm
    sorry, I deal in real life, not in bubbles and "thoughts"

  3. by Curt_Anderson on November 10, 2022 10:16 pm
    Above I suggested despite the conniving that goes into drawing the district maps and all the hand wringing about gerrymandering it's probably not as effective as people think. When the maps are drawn it may be known how people have voted in the past but it's an educated guess as to how they will vote in the future. Also there are unknowable variables such as people moving, dying, turning 18, etc.

    Because Texas is considered to be the worst example of gerrymandering in America (first link), I decided it would be a good case to examine. It's also a large state with a lot of districts to manipulate.

    In the second link you can see how Texans voted. There are 38 congressional districts in Texas. Four of the districts currently have 0% of the vote reported. Ignoring the non-reporting districts, I did the math. Statewide Texans voted for Republicans 64.5% of the time. Of those 34 districts that reported results 59% of them are represented in Congress by Republicans. It would seem that the Republicans cheated themselves. When the other four districts report their vote, it might be that Democrats were shorted a couple districts. Perhaps.

    Of course if all Texans were evenly distributed so that every district was 64.5% Republican and 35.5% Democrats, probably EVERY district would have a Republican representing it.

  4. by oldedude on November 11, 2022 5:40 am
    And where there are "illegal" actions on either side, you can take it to court. The reality is that BOTH side press the limit. That's the beauty of checks and balances (which conservatives believe in), if it violates the state's laws, the courts get to reign it in.

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