Sunday, May 23, 2021

So I screwed around with some Wisconsin maps for redistricting, Senate version (2 of 2)

Here's the second part of the Wisconsin legislative maps that I drew up, and on this one, we are moving over to the Senate side (where districts are made up of 3 grouped Assembly districts). Here's what the current (GOP gerrymandered) map looks like.

The base story is similar to the Assembly - strong GOP advantage, although more of the districts are competitive.

2018 Governor's Election, current Senate map
Seats voting Walker (GOP) 21
Seats voting Evers (Dem) 12

Walker win 0-5% 1
Evers win 0-5% 2

Walker win 5%-10% 5
Evers win 5%-10% 1

Walker win 10%+ 15
Evers win 10%+ 9

The tipping point seat went to Walker by 6.73% (District 24 in Central Wisconsin), a little closer than the Assembly, but not much closer.

And here's what my map looks like.

2018 Governor's Election, my Senate map
Seats voting Walker (GOP) 20 (-1 vs current)
Seats voting Evers (Dem) 13 (+1)

Walker win 0-5% 2 (+1)
Evers win 0-5% 1 (-1)

Walker win 5%-10% 5 (no change)
Evers win 5%-10% 3 (+2)

Walker win 10%+ 13 (-2)
Evers win 10%+ 9 (no change)

So a bit more competitive, and the median seat goes from GOP +6.7% to GOP 5.9% (and is now in the Appleton area). But still a tough hill to climb.

If you compare the two maps, you can see the big differences in geography, even if the GOP vs Dem mix isn't very different. I tried to keep districts contained to one county and nearby area if possible, which means that instead of 21 being a rural district and 22 being an urban Racine-Kenosha district, both are largely county-wide (and competitive) districts now.

This means District 5 is a Dem-leaning district that's mostly in Tosa and West Allis (Evers +6.6%), and District 8 is overwhelmingly Republican, being located almost entirely in eastern Waukesha and Washington Counties. Given that District 5 would come up in 2022 and District 8 in 2024, I would bet Republicans try to switch these numbers, if possible.

The population growth in Dane County and South Central Wisconsin in general is a big driver behind why I shrunk districts in this area. I also made the 17th District more centered in Sauk County and the rest of the SW corner of Wisconsin, taking much of the 27th's current land in blue-voting Sauk, Iowa and Green Counties (I'd say sorry, Howard Marklein. But I'm really not sorry).

In the Fox Valley area, I stopped the gerrymander that GOPs pulled where Marinette and Oconto get lumped in with GB for District 30. Both GB and Appleton get their own districts, and I combined Neenah-Menasha with Oshkosh for District 18, linked Fond du Lac with Sheboygan instead of Oshkosh, and made Manitowoc the largest city in District 1.

In the rest of the state, the biggest move I made was to tighten up District 29 around Wausau (it's still Republican), and gave District 23 more of the area on Highway 53 instead of having it over by Marshfield. District 10 is also shortened up, connecting to the sizable growth in the Twin Cities exurbs.

As mentioned, I could have tried a gerrymander of my own, but I didn't want to do that, and wanted to just draw up a map that looked logical, and kept it realtively compact. Like with the Assembly one, feel free to grab Dave's redistricting app and do some work of your own.

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