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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:43 PM

The Wisconsin Gerrymander Effect

I just put together a spreadsheet analyzing the outcome of the Wisconsin House races.

Very interesting--the Republicans managed to capture 5 of the 8 WI House seats (62.5%) with 49% of the vote. I haven't yet looked at other results, such as the Assembly races, but I think I have come up with an interesting statistic--the Gerrymander Ratio, which is the ratio of seats captured divided by the popular vote ratio. An ideal result would be 1.00, which would indicate that each person's vote counts equally in electing the representative of their choice. In this case, the Gerrymander Ratio is about 1.27, essentially meaning that the Gerrymandering caused each Republican vote to be worth 1.27 Democratic votes.

Whaddya all think of this approach to analyzing the issue?


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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:58 PM

1. It's flawed. A 1.0 ratio wouldn't necessarily indicate that "each person's vote would count equally".

Individual candidates of the same party aren't fungible so you can't really add the vote totals for individual candidates
to produce a meaningful vote total.

To demonstrate with an extreme example, what do you do with the case where in a district the incumbent isn't even opposed by a candidate of
the opposing party ?

Gerrymandering is a very complicated issue and can't be quantified by a single number.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:13 PM

4. I see it as carving as many r's as possible into sensenbrenner's district

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:59 PM

2. They basically shoved as many Dem votes as humanly possible into Pocan and Moore's....

district.

Along with Kind.

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Response to yourout (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:59 PM

7. Exactly.

My geographic region, just north of Eau Claire, got pushed into Kind's district. It used to be the leftist leavening of Dist. 7, which was Dave Obey's old district.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:07 PM

3. Interesting. First time I've seen it looked at quite that way for WI.

Usually I just look for lopsided competitiveness as an indicator that the districts are skewered


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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:32 PM

5. So sad.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:42 PM

6. In comparison to NC they were pikers

Here we got a bit over 50% of the vote and only 4 seats to the GOP's 9.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:18 PM

8. I'd say that's the most interesting analysis of the Gerrymandering effect yet.

Thanks for this. Great way of scoring this most undemocratic practice. Will the American people wake up to this and of course the crazy possibility of the Senate being controled by 13% of the electorate because if the 20 least populated states form a filibustering coalition they can stop most anything that comes down the pike.

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