AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

A nationwide analysis by The Associated Press shows lawmakers can cause some statehouses to skew more Democratic and others more Republican by redrawing political boundaries to cluster or divide certain groups of voters.

More than one-third of state House races were unopposed in 2016, including 18 Republican candidates and 16 Democratic races.

A previous efficiency gap analysis conducted by Simon Jackman, a former professor of political science and statistics at Stanford University, found that the Republican advantage was even higher in the 2012 and 2014 Missouri House elections.

The analysis found that Virginia was among those states with Republican-skewed state House districts as well as congressional districts.

"The outcome was already cooked in, if you will, because of the way the districts were drawn", said John McGlennon, a longtime professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Democrat in the 1980s. That would make for an expectation of about 65 percent, or 65 seats, going to Republicans in Indiana.

Republicans dominate Wyoming politics like no other state without relying on the old political trick of gerrymandering, or adjusting political boundaries to gain an unfair advantage among voters.

Nationally, the analysis found that Republicans may have won as many as 22 additional congressional seats over what would have been expected based on the average vote share in congressional districts across the country.

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"The Democrats don't know how to run campaigns; they're disgusting at it", he said. Democrats won 37 of 65 House seats, theoretically five more than would be expected based on their statewide vote share.

Two researchers who developed the efficiency gap say Kentucky's results are, statistically speaking, not much different than zero. Currently, the 11-person reapportionment panel consists of party leaders in both legislative chambers, three gubernatorial appointees and four by the Supreme Court chief justice.

Yet there also were some districts that didn't appear to follow the Republican proposal, said former citizens' commission member Nick Myers, who now is secretary of the Missouri Republican State Committee. "Republicans have not shown themselves to be good at legal challenges". The formula essentially measures and compares each party's wasted votes — those going to the victor in excess of what's needed for victory — in an election and shows that Virginia's GOP votes are more efficiently spread out than Democratic votes.

One of the largest Democratic congressional advantages was in Maryland, where Democrats controlled redistricting.

"That's just a baseless supposition to blame that all on line-drawing", he said.

The AP scrutinized all 435 U.S. House races from November using a new statistical method of calculating partisan advantage.

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