PA congressional districts

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January 24th, 2018 at 5:20:00 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 774
Posts: 9178
PA began with 8 congressional districts, reached a peak of 36 districts after the 1920 census, is currently at 18 districts and is expected to lose one more after the 2020.

Republicans have led the redistricting after the last two census's. They have managed to pack four major urban districts (3 in Philadelphia, 1 in Pittsburgh) with Democrats, and Democrats currently hold a 5th district seat composed of smaller cities (but which voted for Trump by a large margin).


Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, nicknamed "Goofy Kicking Donald Duck" is the most extreme gerrymandered district of the 13 controlled by Republican congressmen.


Now the courts have ordered that the districts be re-drawn in a three week period and used for the May primaries.

While I condone some mathematical requirements for setting boundaries, I have a difficult time with using one set of boundaries from 2013 on, and then changing them halfway through in 2018. I favor fixing the process for the 2020 census, when 17 districts will have to be drawn up.
February 12th, 2018 at 4:50:30 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 774
Posts: 9178


Republicans submitted their new congressional map, attempting not to split municipalities. Democrats complained that it is still drawn so that Democrats only win 5 out of 18 districts (which has been the norm for the last 3 elections.

With the old districts Democrats won 7 out of 19 districts in 2010 and 12 out of 19 districts in 2008.

Although it is the norm to complain, I don't know what other outcome you could expect. They are GOP drawing the new map. The GOP is not voluntarily going to give up seats. In fact with the current map, Republican's were hoping to reduce Democrats to four seats instead of five. They very fact that they are redistricting at all means that hope is probably gone.
February 12th, 2018 at 4:59:41 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7510
Quote: Pacomartin

Republicans submitted their new congressional map, attempting not to split municipalities. Democrats complained that it is still drawn so that Democrats only win 5 out of 18 districts (which has been the norm for the last 3 elections.


It makes pretty good sense. Pittsburgh and Philly not split. State College will no matter what be an island of blue in a sea of red.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
February 12th, 2018 at 8:13:02 PM permalink
Dalex64
Member since: Mar 8, 2014
Threads: 2
Posts: 2175
Here's how I think it will play out.

No matter what the Republicans put up, the Democrat governor won't agree to.

It will then go to a panel of judges, dominated by Democrats.

There will then be court action. Either the Republicans will file an injunction in federal court, or they will do so afterwords.

Even though the Supreme Court declined to take up the original case, "declaring" it to be an issue of state law (declaring by not actually say anything) someone will surely challenge in court that their constitutional right to equal representation is being violated.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
February 12th, 2018 at 8:21:56 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 1178
Quote: AZDuffman
It makes pretty good sense. Pittsburgh and Philly not split. State College will no matter what be an island of blue in a sea of red.


It makes no sense to me. According to this website :

http://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/OtherServicesEvents/VotingElectionStatistics/Pages/Voter-Registration-Statistics-Archives.aspx

Which is the state's own database, there are 4.0 million democrats and 3.2 million republicans registered in Pennsylvania. A FAIR distribution of residents would be about 10 democrats and 8 republicans in Congress from the state. An argument could be made that some number of those Congressional seats should be allocated among the 1.1 million registered but not affiliated with either party.

But there is NO argument that makes current districting remotely representative of the actual population of the state, which is the entire purpose of the House. It is supposed to represent PEOPLE, not areas; areas are a convenience for determining polling places and geographical districts, and only by gross manipulation of the process have they subverted the purpose of the House.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
February 12th, 2018 at 10:07:05 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 774
Posts: 9178
In the last 8 elections, district boundaries have been largely controlled by Republicans. Republicans have had the majority for 6 of 8 congresses.

2016 5-D, 13-R (Democrat's control 2 Philadelphia , 1 Pittsburgh, 1 suburban Phil, 1 small cities like Scranton, W-B and Easton)
2014 5-D, 13-R
2012 5-D, 13-R

2010 6-D, 13-R
2008 12-D, 7-R
2006 11-D, 8-R
2004 7 -D, 12-R
2002 7 -D, 12-R

Quote: beachbumbabs
There are 4.0 million democrats and 3.2 million republicans registered in Pennsylvania. A FAIR distribution of residents would be about 10 democrats and 8 republicans in Congress from the state.


It's obviously clear that Republicans were gerrymandering the state. But BBB you are going to far the other way. It's pretty obvious that once you remove Philadelphia and Pittsburgh the state basically leans Republican. I think you are proposing an equal level of gerrymandering, just in the Democrat's favor.

Three districts where the Democrat's are "stuffed".

A simple rule should be that two congressional districts should be entirely in the city of Philadelphia. The republicans should not be allowed to draw the districts to stuff in regions outside of the city limits that are primarily Democratic.



February 13th, 2018 at 2:50:06 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7510
Quote: beachbumbabs
It makes no sense to me. According to this website :

Which is the state's own database, there are 4.0 million democrats and 3.2 million republicans registered in Pennsylvania. A FAIR distribution of residents would be about 10 democrats and 8 republicans in Congress from the state. An argument could be made that some number of those Congressional seats should be allocated among the 1.1 million registered but not affiliated with either party.

But there is NO argument that makes current districting remotely representative of the actual population of the state, which is the entire purpose of the House. It is supposed to represent PEOPLE, not areas; areas are a convenience for determining polling places and geographical districts, and only by gross manipulation of the process have they subverted the purpose of the House.


So as is said above, you propose we gerrymander to favor Democrats?

Reality is that Democrats are all in Pittsburgh and Philly, with a smattering in State College it being a university town. While the house represents the people, the districts are also supposed to have commonality of people. IOW, the person in Washington, PA will have different interests than the person in Pittsburgh. Said person probably favors fracking, while the later wants their cheap gas but is afraid of even the word much less the process.

If you made the area around Pittsburgh a "wagon wheel" then you would hear complaints about "diluting the minority vote!"

Democrats live in concentrated areas, if you draw logical looking boundaries they will always be "crammed."
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
February 13th, 2018 at 3:48:22 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 774
Posts: 9178
Quote: AZDuffman
If you made the area around Pittsburgh a "wagon wheel" then you would hear complaints about "diluting the minority vote!"


Republicans actually love minority-majority districts and support them whenever possible. It guarantees that Democratic votes go to waste.

The immediate criticism of the proposed GOP new congressional map is that it means the Republicans will probably maintain their 13 to 5 majority of the PA congressional delegation. However it should be pointed out that if the map didn't change the Republicans have a very good chance of increasing their lead to 14 to 4. PA-17 with Cartwright, Matt(D) voted for Trump by 53.4% vs 43.3% for Hillary.

The reorganized map (even the GOP version) will make that outcome of Republicans increasing to 14 congressmen very unlikely.

2016 elections (3 uncontested races | 2 Republican and 1 Democrat)
February 13th, 2018 at 4:57:00 AM permalink
Dalex64
Member since: Mar 8, 2014
Threads: 2
Posts: 2175
Just like with the electoral college, I don't agree that where you live or how much land you control should matter.

It can't be made perfect, and we are pretty much stuck with a teo party system, but given that, representation should be proportional to the populations of votes cast in the state, no matter where they live or how much land they control.

I am reminded of a history class when the professor wrote "Land = Wealth = Power" on the board.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
February 13th, 2018 at 6:33:07 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 105
Posts: 7510
Quote: Dalex64
Just like with the electoral college, I don't agree that where you live or how much land you control should matter.

It can't be made perfect, and we are pretty much stuck with a teo party system, but given that, representation should be proportional to the populations of votes cast in the state, no matter where they live or how much land they control.

I am reminded of a history class when the professor wrote "Land = Wealth = Power" on the board.


It is proportional, the thing is that representatives are also supposed to represent a "region" of some kind. The region should have commonality. When you get outside the dense areas, you deal with more land.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
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