District Lines Gave GOP Advantage in 2016

Congressional MapsPennsylvania’s Congressional map has been called one of the most gerrymandered map in the country, and the Associated Press’s latest review agrees.  

According to the Associated Press, the map in Pennsylvania resulted in an additional three seats for Republicans than they would have won otherwise.  The only state with a larger number of extra seats won was Texas.  

The AP used a method of determining how well each party turns votes into victory in districts called the “efficiency gap.”  

Franklin & Marshall College political scientist G. Terry Madonna called Pennsylvania’s current map “the worst gerrymander in modern Pennsylvania history.”  

The AP looked at all 435 Congressional and 4,700 state legislative elections from 2016, and found Republicans won as many as 20 extra congressional seats nationally.

Pennsylvania’s map is facing a court challenge from the League of Women Voters and voters from all 18 of Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts asking for the current map to be thrown out and a new map to be drawn.

June 26th, 2017 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories | 19 Comments

19 thoughts on “District Lines Gave GOP Advantage in 2016”

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  2. Barricks Einwohner says:

    You got to do something to compete when your party has a million less registered voters. That is why Reading was included with Lancaster County through a creative “Danzig” type corridor.

  3. KSDF says:

    Major logical flaw in the analysis:


    For all other races, the AP figured the share of the vote received by each party in each district. It then calculated each party’s district average vote share in a state. And it compared that to the share of seats won by each party.

    In Michigan, for example, Republican state House candidates received a total of 2,263,633 votes statewide, about 3,000 more than Democrats. But those virtually similar totals were not split evenly among districts.

    Republicans received a district average of a little over 48 percent of the vote compared with nearly 52 percent for Democrats, and yet the GOP won 57 percent of the House seats compared with just 43 percent for Democrats. The upshot: Republicans won more often, even though Democrats had larger victory margins.”

    The analysis assumes a consistent partisan tilt throughout the state. But the partisanship of the cities is more significant than the Republican tilt of suburbs and rural areas. Philadelphia voted Clinton 82.3% – Trump 15.3% (probably would be even higher if you removed NE Philly). Only Bedford County voted for Trump at a higher rate (82.6%) and Bedford is solely in PA-9. If Philadelphia high rise apartment buildings are voting for Democrats at a 97% clip, then there will be wasted Democratic votes in that Philadelphia congressional district regardless of how the districts are drawn.

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  5. Pam says:

    Gerrymandering is just as awful when Democrats do it. Independent commissions should be determining voting districts, not the politicians who benefit from it. It’s just common sense. Shouldn’t be a partisan issue at all. But it should be fair.

    1. Jake says:

      CA switched to an independent commission and immediately the Democrats picked up several seats by- gerrymandering because the people on the commission took all the recommendations from only the Democratic Party. These commissions must be truly independent or they will result in the same kind of gerrymandering as before. The other thing people forget is turnout is far different in off year vs. Presidential years which also effects districts and how they vote depending on other factors like income, education and age. Drawing districts is far from an exact science especially in a state as diverse as PA. I would urge caution on this issue.

  6. Steventodd says:

    Just now figuring this out huh? Soon we might realize that burning crap into our finite closed atmosphere for over a century might harm us.

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  9. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    This is not news, but it is illegal. GOP has been able to get away with this criminal conduct because they control the legislature and until last year the PA Supreme Court.

    1. Sue says:

      And what makes it illegal (and of course perfectly legal when done by Democrats)?

      1. Other Chris says:

        It’s illegal when both parties do it, but it is undeniable that district gerrymandering national has a GOP tilt. They cracked that code decades ago. I mean, good on them for figuring it out, I guess, but it’s still pretty dirty pool.

        1. Alison says:

          Still not illegal, no matter how often the gullible repeat that.

          1. tommyd says:

            It violates the Pennsylvania Constitution, which says districts must be “compact and contiguous” and not divide counties and municipalities unnecessarily.

          2. Jake says:

            It is legal until the US Supreme Court says otherwise. As far as PA goes, in order to even the situation out, it would require splitting up the major cities where most of the Democrats live which raises other problems as well.

  10. PhillyPolitico says:

    Is… is that news?

  11. David Diano says:

    Three additional seats in PA is a swing of six votes for passing legislation in congress.

    1. Bob Loblaw says:

      Looks like we have a math major here!

    2. David Diano says:

      The AHA vote was: 217 to 213

      so, those three made a big difference.

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