Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Jake does Redistricting Pt. 2 - State Assembly

Following up on yesterday's redistricting map that I made for Congress, I wanted to go over the one I made for the State Assembly.

First of all, like with Congress, I tried to keep common communities together, and tried to see if I could get some districts to have a sizable portion of people of color. So here's what I came up with, and the shades of blue-red reflect the 2016-2020 composite votes in statewide races.

Now compare that map to the current one.

At first glance, it doesn't look all that much different, except for the difference in area among districts in Dane and Milwaukee Counties, and that my districts are generally not so stretched out.

We'll start in Southeastern Wisconsin, where I've tried to keep districts within one county if at all possible. The loss of population in Milwaukee is noticeable here, as it means the city has 7 majority non-white districts instead of the 8 that exist today. But I also moved districts 13 and 14 entirely into Milwaukee County, and had the North Shore suburbs get their own district, instead of having them split between counties as they are today.

Conversely, I kept districts in Waukesha and Ozaukee County instead of bleeding over into Milwaukee. Ironically, this makes some districts less competitive than they are today (because the burbs have gotten bluer, especially north and west of the City), but I also made one Racine County district be inclusive of the communities near the City of Racine.

Moving over to the Madison area, I cut out a lot of the GOP gerrymander that spliced up much of the outskirts of Dane County. That, along with the large population increase in Dane County, means that there are more districts based entirely in the county, and it also makes the GOP-held District 51 in Iowa and Green Counties and District 38 in Jefferson County into bluer districts.

In the Fox Valley, I tightened up some districts, and this will become even more apparent when I merge this into Senate districts (each Senate district is 3 Assembly districts). It makes a couple more seats competitive, but the bigger change is that communities are more tied together instead of the slicing and dicing that the GOP gerrymander pulls.

Put it all together statewide, and it ends up being an Assembly map that favors the GOP around 57-42 in typical 50-50 year in Wisconsin. That's better than the 60-39 map that exists today, and Dems become likely to win the Assembly with 53% of the vote instead of 54%.

The flip side is that a fairer map makes it harder for GOPs to get to 63-64 seats, like they had in much of the 2010s. And it stops a lot of the imperialism of having so many GOP reps representing areas of a county that never voted for them.

I could have manipulated this a lot more if I cared to look at voting patterns, but I didn't want to do that. So have at it, and feel free to grab the Dave's Redistricting app and draw up your own!

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