AP analysis finds partisan map-making advantage in Ohio

Florida politics lopsided despite required fair districts

Florida has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but the balance of power in government doesn't even come close to reflecting that. The Republican edge in Michigan's state House districts had only a 1-in-16,000 probability of occurring by chance; in Wisconsin's Assembly districts, there was a mere 1-in-60,000 likelihood of it happening randomly, the analysis found.

The news organization scrutinized the outcomes of all 435 U.S. House races and about 4,700 state House and Assembly seats up for election past year, using a new statistical method of calculating partisan advantage called the "efficiency gap".

Pennsylvania's 16.2 percent efficiency gap favoring Republicans was the sixth highest among states previous year.

Stephanopoulos and McGhee computed efficiency gaps for four decades of congressional and state House races starting in 1972, concluding the pro-Republican maps enacted after the 2010 Census resulted in "the most extreme gerrymanders in modern history". That would make for an expectation of about 65 percent, or 65 seats, going to Republicans in Indiana.

In addition to MI, the analysis found a significant Republican tilt in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Florida, all of which had a Republican-controlled redistricting process after the 2010 Census.

Republicans acknowledge the 2002 rewrite favored their party. Kottkamp, who later served as lieutenant governor, said lawyers warned lawmakers that there were still rules that had to be followed. Instead, he said a proposed independent commission should work to keep "communities of interest" together.

He'd like to see nonpartisan legislative staff draft initial maps and a supermajority consensus required by redistricting and reapportionment panels.

"Unless you do something with some of the other redistricting criteria and apply them sort of unevenly across the map, like the competitiveness criteria, to give one party a leg up".




The 2010 "fair districts" constitutional amendment was aimed at preventing that practice.

Barbuto was a state representative from Rock Springs from 2008 to 2013 when he was ousted by Republican Rep. Mark Baker.

"The easiest way to overcome those sorts of attempts is by recruiting good candidates and running good campaigns".

The Wyoming Democratic Party, meanwhile, is more organized than ever before and doing a better job getting its message across to voters, Democratic Chairman Joe Barbuto said.

Likewise, he said state Senate maps are drawn fairly, but Democrats underperform in districts they should win.

Redmon said political "apathy" and eight-year term limits are partly to blame for a lack of candidates, as potential challengers simply wait until incumbents can no longer seek re-election.

"It's become a little bit of a hard sell with our larger majority because we have a lot of people who have not served in the minority", Torr said.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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