What Gerrymandering Looks Like (Or, How to Guarantee GOP Dominance in a Purple State) | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

What Gerrymandering Looks Like (Or, How to Guarantee GOP Dominance in a Purple State) 

click to enlarge 8.30_tri_graphic.jpg

The trick to gerrymandering a purple state isn't to give your party huge, unassailable margins in already friendly terrain; that's actually counterproductive. Rather, the goal is to cram your opponents into a handful of districts, then give yourself smaller margins in more districts, thus enabling you to maximize your representation in Congress or the legislature.

That's how you get a situation in which a Republican president narrowly wins North Carolina and a Republican governor loses by a smidgen, but the Republicans win supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature and have 10–3 dominance in the state's congressional delegation.

The maps that helped decide the current General Assembly were, of course, found to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders by the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, the legislature is approving new maps—drawn by the same GOP consultant who crafted the racial gerrymanders in 2011—ahead of a September 1 deadline from a federal court. And while lawmakers say they've taken race completely out of the equation, the new districts nonetheless seem to ensure Republican supermajorities, albeit perhaps slightly smaller ones than the existing supermajorities.

Take the state Senate, where Republicans control thirty-five of fifty seats. Using the presidential vote as a proxy—since split tickets are largely a remnant of a bygone, less partisan era, this is the best indication of how a district will vote in most cases—we see that, under the districts the Senate preliminarily approved Monday, Democrat Hillary Clinton would have prevailed in seventeen districts to Republican Donald Trump's thirty-three, though Trump won the state by less than four percentage points.

What's more striking, though, is that only a scant handful of districts can be deemed even remotely competitive. Only five districts were won by less than five percentage points; of those, only one went for Clinton. So even if Clinton tied Trump in North Carolina, and her extra vote was evenly distributed throughout the state, the Democrats would have netted nothing. Meanwhile, the Dems have several districts that went for Clinton by 66, 59, 56, 55, and 48 points, all larger than Trump's friendliest district.

That's how you lock in a home-court advantage.

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

This is a very interesting logo! Well done! This logo is made on the site
https://www.logaster.com/logo/ ? …

by Ben Milloy on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

You interviewed and photographed eight people about the new Raleigh logo, and only 2 of them are Raleigh residents? That …

by frgyandres on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

Most Recent Comments

This is a very interesting logo! Well done! This logo is made on the site
https://www.logaster.com/logo/ ? …

by Ben Milloy on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

You interviewed and photographed eight people about the new Raleigh logo, and only 2 of them are Raleigh residents? That …

by frgyandres on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

Looks like "weed". Will we be the next Colorado?

by Bud Light on What’s the First Thing You Think of When You See Raleigh’s New Logo? (Triangulator)

I am trying to get answers to. About my brother death in Durham county jail am just read all this …

by Tenisa Ruffin on Durham County Jail Provider Correct Care Solutions Faces Scrutiny (Triangulator)

This might have been a close call amid Wake's many needs, but Commissioners Calabria, Burns, Portman, and Hutchinson surely made …

by Leanne Sigmon on Over Their Own Staff’s Objection, Wake Commissioners Move Forward With a $23 Million Park (Triangulator)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation