dglobalnews.com Analysis shows slight advantage for GOP in Kentucky House districts
Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Sports | By Jeannette Edwards

Analysis shows slight advantage for GOP in Kentucky House districts

Analysis shows slight advantage for GOP in Kentucky House districts

The Associated Press analyzed all 435 U.S. House races and about 4,700 state House and Assembly elections a year ago using a statistical method of calculating partisan advantage created to detect potential gerrymandering.

The AP also calculated efficiency gap scores for U.S. House elections, translating those into estimates of extra seats won because of partisan advantages. Republican candidates for Ohio's U.S. House seats won 58 percent of the votes but 75 percent of the seats.

But "part of it is the gerrymandering issue, in that districts are simply drawn in such a way that it is very difficult" for Democrats to win in many parts of the state, Beatty added. Democrats only hold 41 of 120 state House seats, 15 of 40 Senate seats and are outnumbered in in the U.S. House 16-11.

Republican lawmakers have steadfastly defended the state districts lines as legal and fair, and noted that many GOP candidates have won in districts that Democratic in presidential elections.

That figure is up significantly since the last round of redistricting after the 2010 census.

"There is concern around the state about, I don't know if it's so much about gerrymandering, but about disenfranchised voters", he said. As of last week, there were 221 Republicans in the New Hampshire House, 170 Democrats and two Libertarians.

The analysis examined the share of votes cast for Republican and Democratic candidates in each district and projected the expected number of seats each party would gain if districts were drawn so that neither party had an overall advantage.

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Pennsylvania's 16.2 percent efficiency gap favoring Republicans was the sixth highest among states past year. The analysis suggests there was a slight Republican advantage in the 2016 election produced by the redistricting in 2011 of the state's seven seats.

Still, experts say, Republicans generally benefit far more from gerrymandering than Democrats, since they hold control of the majority of state legislatures and governors' mansions.

The AP's analysis was based on a version of the "efficiency gap" formula developed by University of Chicago law professor Nick Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, a researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. Their mathematical model was cited last fall as "corroborative evidence" by a federal appeals court panel that struck down Wisconsin's state Assembly districts as an intentional partisan gerrymander.

Torr argues gerrymandering, whether to build and keep political power or, as some in the minority party argue, to build competitive races, is damaging.

"There's one answer for that, one word: gerrymander", said Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear that case, potentially affecting voting across the U.S.

Democratic Sen. Matt Jones was a House representative appointed to the 2011 legislative reapportionment committee.

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