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SSP Daily Digest: 4/28 (Part Deux)

by: DavidNYC

Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 3:43 PM EDT

Other Races:

Philly Mayor: Even though several labor organizations endorsed his crazy ex-con nobody of an opponent, Philadelphia's largest union, the Federation of Teachers, came out for incumbent Michael Nutter earlier this week. But Nutter's been having problems with the municipal unions, with the city's white collar union (known as District Council 47... I've always wondered where they get these numbers) declining to endorse. (Several others have either backed Milton Street or no one at all.)

Wisconsin Recall: As expected, Democrats filed signatures against Rob Cowles, making him the sixth Republican to face a possible recall election. Republicans have filed against three Dems and missed the deadline against three others. Meanwhile, the state's Government Accountability Board asked a judge to give them more time to review the petitions, which would allow the agency to consolidate the elections on July 12. However, the MSNBC article linked first in this bullet suggests the elections may not take place until the fall.

WI Sup. Ct.: Under state law, the Supreme Court recount must be completed very quickly, by May 9. It's apparently only the third statewide recount in Wisconsin history. The most recent one took place in 1989... and the one before that in 1858! Unsurprisingly, things are off to a bumpy start in Waukesha, though fortunately the now-notorious Kathy Nickolaus has recused herself from the process.

Grab Bag:

EMILY: EMILY's List announced its first four endorsements of the cycle: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Christie Vilsack (IA-04), and Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02).

Pennsylvania: PPP did something on their new PA poll that I like, and that I hope we'll see more of: They included a statewide generic House ballot, which in this case showed respondents favoring Dems by a 42-36 margin, despite weak numbers for Obama.

Town Halls: With Congress on recess and members back home doing town halls, we're seeing some turnabout from the summer of 2009, with motivated liberals showing up to castigate Republicans for their votes to kill Medicare. Ordinarily, this would be the sort of topic we'd love to cover in the Daily Digest, but the good news/bad news is that there are just too many of them for us to keep track of. What's more, other outlets are doing a great job of covering them, like ThinkProgress and the DCCC.

Redistricting Roundup:

Michigan: We've been saying this for some time ourselves, but now the MI state lege is hearing it, too: In order to preserve Detroit's VRA seats, a redistricting expert for the legislative black caucus agrees that new district lines will have to be drawn that cross the traditional "8 Mile" boundary separating the city of Detroit from its suburbs. Michigan's maps must be complete by Nov. 1.

Missouri: Republicans finally reached an agreement on a map at the 11th hour, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon. (You can see the new map here.) Democrats in the state House are urging Nixon to veto the plan, where the map fell 13 votes short of a veto-proof majority. The governor has not yet said what he'll do, but there's also a dispute brewing as to whether the legislature will be even able to schedule an over-ride vote this session, or if they'll have to wait until September.

Nevada: Republicans have released their proposed maps, which you can find here. Democrats will put theirs out later today. Anjeanette Damon describes the congressional map as a 2-2 plan, but you be the judge.

Texas: Score one for Rep. Lloyd Doggett: He snarfed up a copy of what he believes is the congressional map that Republican congressmen have proposed to leaders of the legislature. A copy is here (PDF). An unnamed source tells the Austin Statesman that they think the map is out-dated, but that Republican plans for splitting Travis County (home of Austin) four ways, as shown by the map, are in fact correct.

Virginia: Well, it sure sounds like the Democrats have caved on the Virginia Senate map. A deal is reportedly done, and the key changes are summarized by the Richmond Times-Dispatch as follows:

Under the deal, the proposed new Democratic-leaning district in the Richmond area would be eliminated, according to Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan. Republicans would lose one of two senators in Virginia Beach and new districts would be created in Loudoun County and east of Lynchburg.

Also, the idiot Democrats in the House voted yet again for the newest Republican gerrymander (which makes mostly cosmetic changes). How stupid are these people? You don't fucking vote for the other side's gerrymander. I mean, it was one thing to act like this the first time around, when it appeared a multi-way deal was in place. But now these schmucks are like chickens voting to elect Col. Sanders. Hope you enjoy getting dipped in 11 herbs and spices and getting deep-fried to your doom, morans.

Discuss :: (166 Comments)

d'Hondting Pennsylvania

by: Joseph

Sat Apr 23, 2011 at 5:29 AM EDT

This diary attempts to somewhat futilely mash together recent Pennsylvanian federal election data with the d'Hondt method of proportional representation, just for kicks.
There's More... :: (15 Comments, 2183 words in story)

CT, OH, and PA: Population by CD

by: Crisitunity

Wed Mar 09, 2011 at 3:53 PM EST

Today is the flipside of yesterday's California release: states with stagnant populations and a bunch of old white people. We'll start with Connecticut, which is certainly characterized by stability: it easily retained five seats, not being particularly near either the cusp of gaining or losing, and even its five districts are pretty close to in balance with each other. Its target is 714,819, up from 681K in 2000.

District Population Deviation
CT-01 710,951 (3,868)
CT-02 729,771 14,952
CT-03 712,339 (2,480)
CT-04 706,740 (8,079)
CT-05 714,296 (523)
Total: 3,574,097

Ohio is one of only a couple states to lose two seats, taking it from 18 down to 16. Its new target is 721,032, up from about 631K in 2000. The state as a whole didn't lose population (gaining 183,364), but seven of its districts did (the 1st, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 17th). The Columbus area was the only part of the state that seemed to experience robust growth; in fact, despite the state losing two seats, the 12th (a swing district held by GOPer Pat Tiberi) will actually need to shed population... much of the state's growth is accounted for in the growth in the 12th.

The numbers today don't really change the overall redistricting equation: one of the northeastern Ohio Democrats is clearly going to have to go, and while the Akron-area 13th (held by Betty Sutton) actually gained some population unlike its neighbors, it may be the one that gets dissected simply by virtue of being in the very middle (with the 9th pressuring it from the west, the 10th and 11th from the north, and the 17th from the east). As for which GOPer gets cut, I'd expected it to be one of Bill Johnson (in the 6th) or Bob Gibbs (in the 18th), but the 18th, despite its mostly rural, Appalachian flavor, seemed to hang in there better than expected, population-wise. Now I'm wondering if Bob Latta's 5th in the rural northwest, which is going to be pressured by the 9th to its north and the 4th to its east, may be a more natural target. Or here's another possibility (made likelier by the possibility that the local GOP might like rid themselves of a liability in the form of Jean Schmidt): the 2nd might be targeted, despite its decent numbers, as both the 1st to its west and the 6th to its east need to gain a ton of people (and extending the 1st east into red, suburban Clermont County would make GOPer Steve Chabot's life easier).

District Population Deviation
OH-01 598,699 (122,333)
OH-02 673,873 (47,159)
OH-03 640,899 (80,133)
OH-04 632,771 (88,261)
OH-05 627,799 (93,233)
OH-06 623,742 (97,290)
OH-07 683,371 (37,661)
OH-08 663,644 (57,388)
OH-09 619,010 (102,022)
OH-10 599,205 (121,827)
OH-11 540,432 (180,600)
OH-12 756,303 35,271
OH-13 649,102 (71,930)
OH-14 648,128 (72,904)
OH-15 681,557 (39,475)
OH-16 644,691 (76,341)
OH-17 600,111 (120,921)
OH-18 653,167 (67,865)
Total: 11,536,504

Pennsylvania's target is 705,688 based on the drop from 19 to 18 seats, up from about 646K in 2000. The 2nd, 3rd, 12th, and 14th all lost population. I'd really recommend looking at the Census Bureau's interactive map of Pennsylvania, as it shows exactly what's going on: the eastern half of the state gained a bit, while nearly every county in the state's western half outright lost population. In fact, there were enough gains in the east that four districts wind up needing to shed population: the 6th and 15th in the Philadelphia suburbs/exurbs, and the more rural, Pennsylvania Dutch-flavored 16th and 19th. These are all Republican-held districts, but these are all districts that moved sharply in the Dem direction from 2004 to 2008, while on the other hand, the shrinking western districts are Democratic areas but ones where the overall trend has been away from the Dems. (Interestingly, two cities that over recent decades came to symbolize dead northeastern industrial centers, Allentown and Reading, are actually rebounding, gaining around 10,000 people each and helping to grow the 15th and 16th respectively. Much of the growth in those two cities, though, as well as the small growth experienced in Philadelphia, is Hispanic.)

With the GOP in control of the redistricting process in Pennsylvania and the population losses heavily concentrated in the Pittsburgh area, it looks like the axe is going to fall heavily on fairly-new Dem Mark Critz in the odd-shaped 12th, which was designed to be a friendly district for John Murtha cobbling together Cambria County with the Dem-friendly parts of Pittsburgh's collar counties but is barely holding onto its Dem roots these days. Mike Doyle's 14th (in Pittsburgh proper), despite being the biggest population loser, is probably going to stay intact, as Republicans will need to concede at least one blue vote sink in the southwest (and probably get bluer, as it'll need to expand into the dead steel towns of the Mon Valley to its south, currently the bluest part of the 12th).

If Critz wants to stick around, he's likely to find himself either fighting Jason Altmire in a primary in the 4th or Tim Murphy in a general in the 18th (although Critz has enough of a Johnstown-area base that he might be able to pull out an upset in whatever district Johnstown winds up in, unless the GOP decides that the 9th, in the central part of the state, is red enough to safely absorb Johnstown).

District Population Deviation
PA-01 655,146 (50,542)
PA-02 630,277 (75,411)
PA-03 640,356 (65,332)
PA-04 647,418 (58,270)
PA-05 651,762 (53,926)
PA-06 726,465 20,777
PA-07 673,623 (32,065)
PA-08 672,685 (33,003)
PA-09 666,810 (38,878)
PA-10 669,257 (36,431)
PA-11 687,860 (17,828)
PA-12 612,384 (93,304)
PA-13 674,188 (31,500)
PA-14 584,493 (121,195)
PA-15 721,828 16,140
PA-16 723,977 18,289
PA-17 681,835 (23,853)
PA-18 653,385 (52,303)
PA-19 728,630 22,942
Total: 12,702,379
Discuss :: (40 Comments)

12-6 Democratic Pennsylvania Gerrymander

by: eschaton

Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM EST

Last week, I looked at why a 12-6 Republican map was most likely.  This week, I'll take a look at the converse - a 12-6 Democratic map.  
There's More... :: (17 Comments, 1240 words in story)

PA - Why 12R, 6D will be the Republican's choice

by: eschaton

Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 3:13 PM EST

Over the past few weeks, I've seen numerous maps which have tried to draw Pennsylvania (where Republicans have total control) 13R-5D, or even 14R-4D.  After trying several maps out for myself, I've decided that aggressive action by the Republicans, while not impossible, will be foolhardy.
There's More... :: (32 Comments, 1587 words in story)

A 14-4 GOP (Dummy?)mander of PA

by: Marcus

Sat Jan 08, 2011 at 1:21 PM EST

Following dramatic gains in the House of Representatives, I think most state legislatures controlled by the Republicans will try to be aggressively maximize their seats.  After 2008, we were proposing 28-0 maps of New York and assuming anything that went even slightly for Obama would be ours in perpetuity, so the Republicans are likely having similar thoughts now.  With that preface, I present my map of Pennsylvania.

The whole State

PA-05, Gold, 52%M 46%O
G.T. Thompson (R)
The 5th takes half of Erie, becoming more Democratic, but it had some room to spare.

PA-09, Cyan, 54%M 44%O
Bill Shuster (R) vs Mark Critz (D)
Johnstown is severed from the 12th district a lumped in with the more conservative 9th.  Critz may choose to run in the new 12th instead.

There's More... :: (69 Comments, 633 words in story)

PA Redistricting: GOPmander

by: MikeFL

Mon Dec 13, 2010 at 2:28 AM EST

The GOP again has control of the redistricting trifecta in Pennsylvania.  Last time, it didn't go as well as planned, as its intended 13 R & 6 D delegation (12 R + ousting Tim Holden) ended up a dummymander by 2008 (12 D & 7 R representatives).

This time around, the Republicans have the challenge of shoring up regained seats around the state, in addition to the probable elimination of one of the Democratic delegation.  My goal here was to accomplish that, in addition to a couple of other curve balls:

All of the districts are within +/- 650 people, based on 2008 population estimates.  And without further wait, let's start!

Northwest PA:

PA-3: Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler)
         93% White, 4% Black, 3% Other
         52% McCain, 47% Obama, (49% McCain, 49% Obama)

PA-3 shifts a few points to the right, as PA-5 takes eastern Erie county in exchange for more rural precincts.  With the old PVI R+5.2 in addition to the rightward shift in the district, Kelly should be safe in most years.

PA-4 : OPEN; potentially Rep. Jason Altmire (D-McCandless)
         93% White, 4% Black, 3% Other
         53% McCain, 46% Obama, (no shift)

Surprisingly, it is fairly easy to remove Rep. Jason Altmire out of PA-4 by combining McCandless (his residency) with Mike Doyle in PA-14 in exchange for more Republican parts of Allegheny County.  If he doesn't decide to move within the district, this would probably be an GOP gain as the area is trending Republican with most of the state reps & senators being GOP members.  On the other hand, if Altmire sees the primary with Doyle as unfeasible (likely) and doesn't decide to retire, PA-4 could be the successor to the current PA-17 (Dem incumbent too personally popular to be unseated).

PA-5: Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Howard)
         96% White, 4% Other
         54% McCain, 44% Obama, (55% McCain, 44% Obama)

Thompson's district moves westward and southward, taking parts of Allegheny and Erie county in order to shore up other less safe districts.  Nothing too exciting here.

Southwest PA:

PA-9: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Hollidaysburg) vs. Rep Mark Critz (D-Johnstown)
         93% White, 3% Black, 3% Other
         55% McCain, 43% Obama, (63% McCain, 36% Obama)

Sorry, Mark Critz, but you're most likely going to be out of office come 2012.  The new PA-9 takes part of the former Murthamander of PA-12, including Critz' home base of Johnstown.  At a 55% McCain district with a non-Tim Burns opponent, he'll need the stars to align in order to beat Shuster.  Other than that, PA-9 shifts westward.

PA-12: Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Upper St. Clair), formerly PA-18
         95% White, 3% Black, 2% Other
         55% McCain, 44% Obama

Murphy snatches most of the rest of PA-12 along with the former PA-18, as southwest PA is where population growth is the lowest.  The McCain-Obama margin stays about the same as it was in the old PA-18.

PA-14: Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hills)
         72% White, 21% Black, 3% Asian, 4% Other
         67% Obama, 32% McCain ,(70% Obama, 29% McCain)

Mike Doyle's district, still centered around Pittsburgh) becomes slightly less Democratic with the addition of Altmire's base of McCandless.  Doyle probably doesn't have to worry about a primary from his right, so he should be in the clear.

Northeast PA:

PA-10: Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming)
         93% White, 3% Black, 4% Other
         51% McCain, 48% Obama, (54% McCain, 45% Obama)

It is really difficult to make all the Republicans in Eastern PA safe, as Tim Holden's district can only hold so much population.  Neither Lou Barletta nor Tom Marino are strong candidates, so I had to choose one of them to shore up more.  As you can see, Marino took the hit (aka Scranton).  Carney would probably be good for a comeback here in a good Dem year, as Marino probably won't be the most ethical congressman.  However, Lackawanna County isn't trending Democratic at the federal level (Obama vs McCain margins were about the same as Gore vs Bush, a substantially more Republican year), so even if Marino were to lose, a better candidate could probably have at least an even chance of regaining the seat.

PA-11: Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazletown)
         94% White, 3% Hispanic, 3% Other
         53% McCain, 46% Obama, (57% Obama, 42% McCain)

Lou Barletta is the beneficiary of the Scranton switch, going from a 57% to 46% Obama district.  His district drastically shifts southwest, taking in the majority of the old PA-17, minus Schuylkill county, and eastern parts of PA-9.  He should be in pretty good condition here.

PA-15: Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Allentown)
         81% White, 12% Hispanic, 4% Black, 3% Other
         55% Obama, 43% McCain, (56% Obama, 43% McCain)

It is possible to make Charlie Dent theoretically safer by taking parts of Allentown or Bethlehem into PA-17 while grabbing more McCain-friendly precincts.  However, it would probably backfire on the Republicans, as it would remain an Obama district (52 or 53%).  Additionally, it would break up the Lehigh Valley, which historically has voted for a Republican for all but 6 years since the 1970s and has been in only one district for even longer.  Cracking Allentown would probably harm Dent more than help, as the "communities of interest" would potentially be an issue.  As a result, it only becomes slightly more Republican, taking in more conservative parts of the Valley.

PA-17: Rep. Tim Holden (D-St. Clair)
         78% White, 12% Hispanic, 6% Black, 3% Asian, 1% Other
         56% Obama, 43% McCain, (51% McCain, 49% Obama)

This district took quite a bit of effort and I'm not sure if it would hold up or not.  Basically, it makes Tim Holden safe, along with shoring up other suburban GOP reps.  With the most conservative part being his base, Holden takes in Reading, most of Monroe County, and chunks of Carbon & Montgomery Counties (PA-13 alone can't shore up all of the southeastern Republican seats).  Basically, it becomes a Democratic vote sink.  There could possibly be a chance that Holden moves westward in Schuylkill and takes on Gerlach or Barletta if he fears a primary challenge in a more Dem-friendly district.  However, their districts are more conservative than the previous PA-17 so he'd probably have a better shot in this district.

Southeast PA (Philly Suburbs):

PA-6: Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-West Pikeland)
         90% White, 4% Black, 3% Hispanic, 3% Other
         52% McCain, 47% Obama, (58% Obama, 41% McCain)

From D+5 to R+6, how things change for Jim Gerlach.  PA-6 becomes a lot more rural, stretching westward out from the suburbs in addition to giving Reading over to Tim Holden in exchange for much of the old PA-17.  Gerlach has repeatedly shown a knack for survival, hanging on in great Dem years like 2006 & 2008, so he should be safe in this district.  Even if he tries again for higher office, a moderate-conservative Republican should be able to hold on to the new PA-6 fairly easily.

PA-7: Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Drexel Hill)
         89% White, 4% Black, 4% Asian, 3% Other
         51% Obama, 48% McCain, (56% Obama, 43% McCain)

With Allyson Schwartz's district becoming a more Democratic vote-sink, PA-7 reddens a good deal.  Meehan's new district picks up parts of Pitts' and Gerlach's old districts while dropping more Dem-heavy precincts to the Philly districts.  Overall, this should help Meehan to entrench himself in the district more than before.

PA-8: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown)
         88% White, 4% Black, 4% Asian, 3% Hispanic, 1% Other
         53% Obama, 46% McCain, (54% Obama, 45% McCain)

There isn't a whole lot that can be done for Mike Fitzpatrick either, other than shifting the margin to what Obama won by nationally.  In 2006, a good Democratic year, Patrick Murphy only beat him by 1500-some votes, a margin that the switch of precincts with Allyson Schwartz would probably have eliminated.  PA-8, basically, remains a swing district, but leaves Fitzpatrick in a slightly stronger position.

PA-16:  Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Kennett Square)
         85% White, 8% Hispanic, 5% Black, 2% Other
         53% McCain, 46% Obama, (51% McCain, 48% Obama)

Joe Pitts' Lancaster-based district moves somewhat westward out of the suburbs, thus becoming slightly safer for him.  Still, if current trends hold, all of the Philadelphia suburban districts are going to end up places where the GOP will have to sweat, regardless of this round of redistricting.  Pitts will probably need to tone down his anti-choice rhetoric or even moderate somewhat in order to keep the district in the mid-long term.

PA-18:  Rep. Todd Platts (R-York)
         82% White, 9% Black, 6% Hispanic, 3% Other
         52% McCain, 47% Obama, (56% McCain, 43% Obama)

I had to put Harrisburg somewhere, and unfortunately for Todd Platts, it gets thrown into his district.  Putting Harrisburg in any other district presents a higher risk to the GOP, as Joe Pitts and Jim Gerlach both have to worry about further Democratization of the Philly suburbs.  The district is still fairly Republican, so Platts should be pretty safe.


PA-1: Rep. Robert Brady (D-Philadelphia)
         46% Black, 41% White, 7% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% Other  
         83% Obama, 16% McCain, (88% Obama, 12% McCain)

Majority-minority district for Brady.  It just stretches out more along the Delaware River than before, nothing too drastic.

PA-2: Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Philadelphia)
         53% Black, 23% White, 18% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 1% Other
         91% Obama, 8% McCain, (90% Obama, 10% McCain)

It is possible: Chaka Fattah's district can become even more Democratic, albeit slightly.  It also becomes a lot more compact while remaining VRA at 53% black & only 23% white.  It also sheds some precincts to PA-13.

PA-13: Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Jenkintown)
         79% White, 9% Black, 6% Asian, 5% Hispanic, 1% Other
         64% Obama, 36% McCain, (59% Obama, 41% McCain)

PA-13 gains a lot more Dem voters and in the process makes the rest of the Republican suburbs safer.  It basically switches parts of Montgomery county with other districts in order to grab all of the 60%+ Obama precincts.  Allyson Schwartz, winning by a 13% margin in 2010, is there for as long as she wants to be in Congress.


Overall, I think the Republicans will go for a map somewhat like this.  They might go with a Dem-vote sink in NW PA with Altmire by combining PA-4 with Erie, but I don't think they're going to cede to Altmire that easily.  Another option would be for Holden to take Scranton and drop some of SE Pennsylvania, but a similar district failed to pass last round I believe.  GOP wins in PA-10 & 11 this year complicated things for them, as the legislature is foremost going to try for R-incumbent protection.

So any thoughts?  I'm not from PA (no Florida precinct information on Dave's app yet :( ), so I'd be curious to see if anyone from there would think this would hold up.

Discuss :: (27 Comments)

Weak GOP gerrymander for PA - 13-5 in a good year

by: Englishlefty

Sun Nov 28, 2010 at 4:09 PM EST

Republicans had a great night in Pennsylvania this November, which makes drawing a decent map for them really hard.

The problem for them is, fundamentally, that they won in all the wrong places. They knocked off Carney and Kanjorski, whereas if they'd taken only one of them they could have packed the survivor's district and used the redder bits of his district to make Charlie Dent a little later. They held PA-6 and took back PA-7 and PA-8, meaning that it's that much harder to protect their representatives in the suburban Philadelphia area, whereas if the Dems had held one seat then it would have been possible to shift the other districts further from the city.

And they didn't knock off Critz or Altmire, meaning that they'll have to work a little harder to give them unwinnable districts.

All in all, they'd have a lot more options for the coming redistricting if they'd won a few less districts and if more of them had been in western PA.

But what's done is done. Republicans can enjoy their gains for now and they'll just have to work to try to keep them - because there's no way they'll willingly concede seats in the next redistricting.

This map is an attempt to strengthen the Republican freshmen and to eliminate the last two Democratic representative in western Pennsylvania outside Pittsburgh. By giving Tim Holden a reasonably strong Democratic district, it frees up enough red territory to give the Republicans a fighting chance of a 13-5 advantage out of the state.

But this is not without risk. McCain got beaten by ten points in Pennsylvania and five Republicans in this new map will represent districts he lost. If they all flipped, Democrats would have a 10-8 advantage out of the state. If Joe Pitts can't adapt to his new district, it could be as bad as 11-7.

On the other hand, it's almost impossible to defend all twelve Republican congressmen in the state effectively. This map improves the prospects of each Republican in a district Obama won by at least four points net. I won't pretend this map doesn't have weaknesses, but it's probably the best the Republicans can do.

As an added challenge, I endeavoured to keep townships together, as I don't think the advantage gained by splitting them outweighs the negative press received for doing so. This doesn't apply in Philadelphia, as the Republicans have no reason to care about a backlash there.

I would have like to be able to give Sestak-Toomey results, as it'd establish how safe these seats would be in a good year (i.e. if Joe Pitts' district would still have been a bit marginal this year then he might be in trouble either way), but sadly not all counties have put up results by precinct yet. Most have, but several important ones like Montgomery and Erie haven't, so sadly we lack that method of double-checking.

Overall map

There's More... :: (27 Comments, 4421 words in story)

Pennsylvania gets wyoming'd

by: Warning_Crazy

Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 6:23 PM EST

First of all, this is my first diary and my first redistricting so be gentle! Also, there is one small error in the bigger pictures, however it is fixed in the zoom ones.

I basically did a very dem friendly redistricting of Pennslyvania under the Wyoming plan. This gives PA 25 seats of about 491,242 that MassGOP has made diaries on.

Without further ado, the map:
Without counties/cities:

Zoom on Philadelphia:
East PA:

District 1 (Blue): Obama 73%
Plurality Minority  
Goes from Philly to chester county, covering most of delco along the way. I was surprised how democratic the district was. 49 W 44 B

District 2 (Green): Obama 58%
Just gave the district a chunk of philly then tried to make it more conservative, so it went into Bucks, Montgomery and most of South Delaware. Should be reasonably safe.

District 3 (Purple): Obama 56%
Northeast Philly and wraps around the 2nd and 4th. Most bucks, but also Northampton and Lehigh. Would lean strongly D, and it would only get moreso. Would be vulnerable in another 2010 like year.

District 4 (Red): Obama 55%
Takes Allentown and half of Bethleham. Goes into Montgomery, Bucks, a lot of lehigh, and northhampton. Should be ok in most years.

District 5 (Yellow): Obama 55%
Rest of Bethleham, Easton, and most of Hazleton. All of carbon and monroe counties. Only 2 people off the population goal. Should lean Dem.

District 6 (Teal): Obama 53%
Wilks-Barre, the scranton suburbs, a tiny piece of scranton, all of Montour, columbia counties and the majority of wyoming, luzurne and lackawanna. (Thank you the office for spelling of that). Would tilt D but probably require a blue dog.

District 7 (Silver): Obama 54%
The funniest district in the state, containing the rest of scranton, most or all of 3 northeastern counties, and going all the way to Penn State. Leans D

District 8 (Violet): Obama 64%
This one is ugly. Starts in Philly and just goes out. Snakes through Montgomery to get some of the central pa counties like Snyder and Mifflin. Easy D.

District 9 (Sky Blue) Obama 58%
The most Liberal parts of delco and montco along with eastern chester county. Leans D pretty heavily.

District 10 (Pink) Obama 53%
Harrisburg, Half of Lancaster and coatsville. Pretty tough to hold but def doable. Leans slightly

District 11 (Lime Green): Obama 73%
Starts in Philly and snakes.

District 12 (Robin's Egg Blue): Obama 57%
Starts in Philly and snakes up to central. Easy Dem.

District 13 (Tan): Obama 89%
VRA district. 29 W 46 B 19 H

District 14 (Gold): Obama 39%
Huge by Land Area, takes a ton of the conservative areas into one votesink.

District 15 (Orange): Obama 53%
The one I'm perhaps most proud of. Goes from York to Pittsburgh. Takes Altoona, Johnstown, and some of the bigger Pitt suburbs. Blue dog should take this one easily.

District 16 (Slightly darker lime green): Obama 50%
Reading and the other half of Lancaster. True toss-up, very winnable.

District 17 (Navy Blue) Obama 40%
The surprisingly heavily populated York, Adams and Franklin counties in south central pa. Not a shot in hell for us to win it.

District 18 (Bright yellow): Obama 41%
Scraps. Takes parts of a lot of other counties. Easy R win.

District 19 (Pea Green): Obama 40%
A lot of the Southwestern counties. Easy R win.

Pitt close up:

District 20 (Light Pink): Obama 52%
Parts of Pitt and Washington county and Fayette county. Lean D or Toss-Up

District 21 (Blood Red): Obama 54%
East Pittsburgh, some suburbs and then it just snakes out east. Lean D

District 22 (Poo Brown): Obama 38%
One of the most conservative districts in the country. Easy easy R.

District 23 (Baby Blue): Obama 54%
Erie, Saint Mary's and a lot of the more liberal areas in the Northwest PA. Lean D

District 24 (Dark Purple): Obama 55%
Lots of pittsburgh and Allegheny county. Likely D

District 25 (Pink-Red Mesh): Obama 49%
What was left. Surprised it was still winnable for us.

Lean Dem or better: 18
Toss-up: 2
Easy R: 5


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A rigged election in Bucks County

by: Heff01

Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 8:52 PM EDT

As Bucks County goes, so likely will the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within 2% in both statewide races this year.  With about 640,000 residents and over 5% of the state's voters, it is the fourth-most-populous county of PA and is located in suburban, exurban, and rural areas northeast and north of Philadelphia most of the way to the Lehigh Valley.  It is whiter, wealthier, more Asian, and lower in unemployment than the state average.  Stunning new evidence came to light this afternoon that the GOP-controlled Board of Elections tampered with Republican absentee ballot applications, altering and fixing those that were incorrect or incomplete to keep them from being rejected.  At the same time, the GOP Board has been rejecting hundreds of Democratic applications, often based on the same problems that they fixed on the Republican applications.

The new revelations continue to demonstrate a deeply troubling pattern by Mike Fitzpatrick's GOP allies to target Bucks County Democratic applications for rejection and suppressing the Democratic vote. Over 600 absentee ballot applications have been rejected by the GOP Board - over 80% of which were from Democratic voters. In other words, the partisan Board of Elections has rejected 6 Democratic applications for every 1 Republican.  Former County Commissioner Fitzpatrick is in a rematch for the US House seat that he lost after one term in 2006 to Patrick Murphy (a great man whom I knew and admired at King's College, Wilkes-Barre) by a fraction of a percent.  The 8th Congressional district includes Bucks and nearby areas of Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.  The Democrats captured the registration edge early in 2008, although the Republicans retain the commissioner majority and all row offices in Bucks.

Michelle Merrick, a registered Republican from Bensalem, submitted an application for an absentee ballot, which included incorrect and missing information. The Board of Elections actually corrected the application for her.  Michelle registered to vote under her maiden name "Michelle Merrick," but she filled out the application under her married name, "Michelle Rubin."  In an attempt to salvage the application, the Board of Elections altered the application to read "Michelle Rubin Merrick."  Despite the Board of Elections' blatant attempt to salvage this Republican's absentee ballot application vote, she still failed to include her birthdate, which should have invalidated her application.  It didn't.  Meanwhile, Democratic applications have been denied for innocuous mistakes relating to the date of birth, like filling in "today's date" instead.  But unlike Michelle, they will not have the opportunity to vote absentee or have their voice heard in Tuesday's election - simply because of their political party.

Among the Democrats rejected was Wade Messer.  In the space for birthdate, Wade made a mistake and wrote in the date that he filled out the application: 8/15/10.  But Wade is a registered Democrat, and he didn't get the same special treatment as Michelle.  Wade's ballot application was rejected.  Scott Leossy made the same mistake, putting the date he applied - 8/25/10 - on the line for the applicant's date of birth.  But Scott is a registered Democrat and he didn't get the same special treatment as Michelle.  Scott's ballot application was rejected.  These facts add to the pattern of GOP voter fraud and partisan politics at the Republican-controlled Board of Elections, coming on the heels of revelations that GOP candidates Mike Fitzpatrick and Rob Ciervo sent a letter to Bucks County voters instructing parents on how to commit voter fraud on behalf of their kids.

What is alarming in this case are the double standards employed in a blatantly-partisan manner.  I'm afraid that these revelations are a little too late to prevent Fitzpatrick from winning, but any criminal actions in this case must not go unpunished!  We must urge US Attorney General Eric Holder to use the Justice Department to investigate this matter aggressively.

Florida 2000.  Ohio 2004.  Bucks County and Washoe County, NV 2010.  Virginia 2012?  Rigged elections are as American as apple pie in the 21st century.  This shit has to cease!  Kindly take action.---BDH

Meanwhile, donate to fraud investigator/journalist Greg Palast at so that you can read the comic "Steal Back Your Vote."

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