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One of the worst gerrymanders this cycle was Pennsylvania. If the maps were to hypothetically be redrawn for 2014 and the districts to be more clean looking, how would it go? Maybe Illinoyed and the like would know more than me. For those posting on RRH, feel free to cross post it (although be sure to delete the nastier swipes)
Also, if one wants a better view of the pictures, just simply click on it.
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District 1 (Blue)
39.2 Wh, 39.1 Bl, 14.6 Hisp, 4.9 Asn, 2 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+26.2
Comments: Under this map, Alyson Schwartz is the odd (wo)man out. Her residence in Jenkintown is in this district but she would be running for governor, so it would be a moot point anyways. This is a safe district for the democrat paired up with her, Bob Brady.

2 (Green)
45.3 Bl, 36.1 Wh, 9.1 Hisp, 7.1 Asn, 2.1 Oth, 0.2 Nat
PVI: D+34.1
Comments: Obviously safe dem district based in the black wards of SW Philly. Could Chaka Fattah eventually become Appropriations chairman?

3 (Dark Magenta)
91 Wh, 4.6 Bl, 2 Hisp, 1.5 Oth, 0.8 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+2.4
Comments: Hodgepodge of areas in NW Pennsylvania. Erie has largely remained dem while Butler County, unlike most of Western Pennsylvania, was never dem to begin with. The rest of the district is quintessential Western PA. Balancing this out, you have a marginal, slightly GOP leaning seat. Dahlkemper strikes me as a weak candidate and Kelly would survive a rematch against her. In a worse year with a better opponent, Kelly could lose however.

4 (Red)
91.2 Wh, 4.3 Bl, 1.7 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 1.2 Hisp, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+8.2
Comments: This is one of those districts that are exhibit A in why American voters need more choices in politics and why multiple parties should be the way to go. You have an ancestrally dem area trending pub but they seem to be stuck with the wrong kind of pub. This is an area that I would assume would elect a Chris Smith type republican – fiscally moderate, socially conservative. Instead, this would be Keith Rothfus’s district – a member in good standing with the John Birch, I mean Club For Growth. His tenure in this district largely rests on whether Beaver County returns to its dem roots. Unfortunately this is one of those districts like TX 1 which was drawn to dislodge an incumbent dem, and once dislodged, the area would be pub for eternity.

5 (Gold)
94.3 Wh, 2.2 Bl, 1.7 Hisp, 1 Oth, 0.6 Asn, 0.2 Nat
PVI: R+11.9
Comments:
This is the most rural districts in the state and the second most republican. Both Marino and Thompson live in this district. My assumption is that Marino would run in the 17th and Thompson, who was already pretty safe, is even safer

6 (Teal)
80.2 Wh, 12.6 Hisp, 3.8 Bl, 1.9 Asn, 1.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+3
Comments: This is basically the old PA 6 before the 01 remap. The district is based in Reading, but unlike past iterations, takes in parts of deeply republican Lancaster County. No incumbent lives here to my knowledge but Pitts would be smart to run here since I doubt he could win a member-on-member primary with Gerlach. Pitts has gotten below 60% four times in his career, and could be toppled under the right circumstances.

7 (Dark Gray)
68.5 Wh, 22.1 Bl, 4.5 Asn, 2.9 Hisp, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+10.7
Comments: This district is made hopelessly blue. If Edgar or Sestak are looking for a comeback, they have the right of first refusal.

8 (Slate Blue)
78.3 Wh, 7.2 Bl, 6.6 Hisp, 6.0 Asn, 1.8 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3.4
Comments: This is based in Bucks County and the white middle class areas of NE Philadelphia. Obama’s % moves up to 57.1, but Fitzpatrick is a formidable candidate. He seems to be a Chris Smith type republican, which plays well here. A non-Bookvar candidate could maybe beat him though.

9 (Cyan)
92.2 Wh, 2.4 Hisp, 2.3 Bl, 1.8 Asn, 1.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+13.9
Comments: Although the addition of (relatively) liberal State College tempers the district somewhat, this is still the most GOP district in the state and a lot of this territory hasn’t elected a dem to congress since the nineteenth century. Safe R

10 (Deep Pink)
87 Wh, 5.9 Hisp, 4.5 Bl, 1.3 Asn, 1.3 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+3
Comments: Although the numbering is district 10, Cartwright’s home is in this district. He should be safe here.

11 (Chartreuse)
84.3 Wh, 8.8 Hisp, 3.8 Bl, 1.6 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+0.5
Comments: This is Barletta’s district. Although it is considerably more GOP than the 2000s PA 11, it is less republican than the current one. He seems to be a good but not great fit for this district. He should be ok barring a 1974-like meltdown.

12 (Cornflower Blue)
95.3 Wh, 2.1 Bl, 1.1 Hisp, 0.9 Oth, 0.5 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+11.2
Comments: This looks more like the 12th district before the 01 remap. Anchored in ancestrally dem Johnstown, it takes in a few ancestrally republican areas, ancestrally dem Westmoreland and historically marginal Armstrong and Indiana. The district seems to have gone off the deep end politically and Critz would have a tough time holding this district.

13 (Dark Salmon)
84.5 Wh, 7.6 Hisp, 4.6 Bl, 1.6 Oth, 1.5 Asn, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+8.2
Comments: This is a York based district. The area was pretty marginal until the late 1960s. For a period between 1954 and 1966, seemed to throw its congressman out every few years. For awhile the district was represented by archconservative congressman George Goodling. After he ran something like seventeen points behind Nixon in 1972 and fearing defeat, he retired in 1974. His son, a more moderate republican, narrowly won the seat in 1974 and the district has been safe R since. Perry seems more of a George Goodling than a Todd Platts or William Goodling; but he should be safe.

14 (Olive)
74.6 Wh, 19 Bl, 2.6 Asn, 2.1 Oth, 1.6 Hisp, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+8.4
Comments: Western Pennsylvania seems to have trended republican in the past dozen or so years, but this is the only area that has resisted that trend. It is based in central Pittsburgh and the industrial towns to the east of it. Doyle is obviously safe here.

15 (Dark Orange)
76.4 Wh, 11.7 Hisp, 5.5 Bl, 4.7 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+2.3
Comments: This is a hodgepodge of suburban and industrial working class areas. The district’s PVI is not much different from the 2000s district’s numbers. Dent managed to win tough races in 06 and 08, so he should be ok here. If he were to retire, a dem could win it though.

16 (Lime)
82.9 Wh, 5.8 Bl, 5.5 Hisp, 4.3 Asn, 1.5 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: D+0.1
This is a Chester County based district and looks like the PA 5 of the 70s and 80s. Pitts and Gerlach both live here, but I doubt Pitts would want to run against him in a primary. Gerlach had a few close calls in the old, more dem leaning PA-6, but this district is more marginal. He would be relatively safe here, especially since Obama tanked in Chester County.

17 (Dark Slate Blue)
82.6 Wh, 7.8 Bl, 5.5 Hisp, 2.3 Asn, 1.6 Oth, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+7.3
Comments: This is the most urban district in what could be called the “T” but its still a republican district. It resembles more the pre-2000s PA 17 and my guess is that Marino runs here to avoid a primary with Thompson

18 (Yellow)
91.8 Wh, 4 Bl, 1.5 Asn, 1.4 Oth, 1.2 Hisp, 0.1 Nat
PVI: R+3.3
Comments: This is similar to the old Thomas Morgan/Austin Murphy/Frank Mascara district. This would probably be Murphy’s district. The PVI drops a couple points to the where Obama narrowly won it. For a republican, he is a pretty good fit for this district. A more conservative republican though would probably lose here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davybaby, WisJohn

    RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

    by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:16:54 PM PST

  •  Two things (7+ / 0-)

    1) if you insert the line width="600" before the end of the html code it creates a thumbnail of that width that people can click through to the full size.

    2) This map is totally unrealistic and not even really worth considering IMO. Yes there are a myriad ways to draw the state and I'm not saying maps I've done are the best or anything, but no "fair" process would have completely ignored counties and cities like you did and combine some of the areas you combined. There's no reason to split counties like Lancaster 4 ways like you did for instance. Even the California commission which we frequently tout as the model of non-partisan "fairness" tried to preserve local jurisdictions where logical.

    •  yes it splits plenty of areas but the pub map does (0+ / 0-)

      even worse. I don't take municipalities into consideration because its given preference to one area or another. The idea is to figure out the gravity of population and cluster districts in areas they're entitled to.

      RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

      by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:28:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with Stephen Wolf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NM Ward Chair, Prof Haley

        You should generally try to keep counties and municipalities whole unless you're splitting them for partisan purposes, for example to separate Harrisburg from deep-red northern Dauphin County, or population equality purposes. But gratuitous splits like your map has are not good. For example, in your border between the 5th and 12th, you split Clarion, Jefferson, and Clearfield counties. You should get rid of two of those splits so that only one county is split.

        Also, I don't know how other people feel about this, but it always annoys me when diary titles are not capitalized. Now, I'm not trying to single demographicarmageddon out here, but please, capitalize your diaries. It takes literally one second, and it looks much nicer.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:38:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The PA Const'n requires it for the state leg. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NM Ward Chair

          Art II, sec 16:

          Legislative Districts
          Section 16.

          The Commonwealth shall be divided into fifty senatorial and two hundred three representative districts, which shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable. Each senatorial district shall elect one Senator, and each representative district one Representative. Unless absolutely necessary no county, city, incorporated town, borough, township or ward shall be divided in forming either a senatorial or representative district.

          •  I was talking about congressional districts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NM Ward Chair

            and not legislative districts. It's perfectly okay for congressional districts to split municipalities for partisan purposes. After all, the current map splits a very large number of municipalities. It's just that gratuitous and unnecessary splits are generally to be discouraged.

            But yeah, it's different for legislative districts. I take it that 'absolutely necessary', in practice, means 'to ensure population equality'?

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:50:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  What does entitled mean in this context? (0+ / 0-)

        It sounds like the opposite of fairness. I don't think that's what you mean, but it leaves me not knowing what you mean.

        into the blue again, after the money's gone

        by Prof Haley on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:27:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shortest Splitline method (0+ / 0-)

    as described in this cgpgrey video
    So that's what PA would look like with a mathematical redistricting that doesn't consider communities.  And Republicans still would have come out ahead because suburban Democrats reelected their Republican incumbent Congressmen who got swept in in 2010.

  •  but regardless of the legality of this map (0+ / 0-)

    how would the map do? My guess is the dems win between 7-10 seats here.

    RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

    by demographicarmageddon on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:43:57 PM PST

    •  7 most likely (0+ / 0-)

      This is still a very effective Republican gerrymander.

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:30:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bob Edgar? (0+ / 0-)

    Well, if Rick Nolan can make a comeback after 32 years, why not?

  •  You gonna tell us what RRH is? entee (0+ / 0-)

    into the blue again, after the money's gone

    by Prof Haley on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:22:16 PM PST

  •  I mean, a greater criticism (6+ / 0-)

    is that your map seems to establish arbitrary definitions of looking nice as fairness, and not political equilibrium, competitive districts, and cohesive political regions.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:15:38 AM PST

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