Virginia districts drawn to help GOP

Florida politics lopsided despite required fair districts

Analysis: Texas gave House GOP biggest gerrymandering bump - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Energized Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump means Virginians will have a lot more choices when they pick members to the state House of Delegates this year. The AP found that Republicans were more likely to have an advantage over Democrats across the country in picking up congressional seats because district lines were manipulated to favor the GOP after the 2010 census.

For its analysis, the AP scrutinized all 435 U.S. House races in November using an "efficiency gap" statistical method created to calculate partisan advantage.

Across the state, the number of Missouri House races lacking Democratic or Republican candidates has risen significantly since legislative districts were last redrawn after the 2010 Census. And only four other states had a lower percentage of contested races in 2016, when most states held state House elections, according to the AP's analysis. But in the end, Maine's districts remained much the same as they had been even as gerrymandering produced odd-shaped districts in other states.

By a 20 point margin, 52 percent to 32 percent, more Republicans than Democrats called the shooting a result of political rhetoric.

"It's called Donald Trump", he said.

The Wyoming Democratic Party, meanwhile, is more organized than ever before and doing a better job getting its message across to voters, Democratic Chairman Joe Barbuto said. They moved Democratic-performing areas into districts that were safe for Republican or Democratic candidates.

Scott Freeman, a Phoenix attorney and Republican who served on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, said the analysis done by the AP leaves out a crucial element - federal voting rights law that required two of the state's nine districts to enable minorities to elect lawmakers.

Last fall, voters statewide split their ballots essentially 50-50 between Republican and Democratic state House candidates.

Maine Democrats and Republicans were mostly happy with a reapportionment that left the current congressional districts mostly intact. There are now six vacant seats, plus one Republican who was elected but hasn't been sworn in due to illness.

"Their problem is weak candidates who run poor campaigns based on bad ideas, not the districts", said House Speaker William J. Howell spokesman Christopher West. If Republicans hold onto power in both legislative chambers and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin wins re-election, it would give the party complete control of the redistricting process for the first time. Sometimes delegates wanted the boundaries changed to draw out a potential primary challenger, Jones said.

Even with the new lines from past year, Virginia's congressional district favors the GOP, the AP's analysis shows.

If Democrats had won Utah's 4th Congressional District, the most competitive, than GOP control of the seats would be closer to what would be expected based on the party's average vote share.

The formula compares the statewide average share of the vote a party receives in each district with the statewide percentage of seats it wins, taking into account a common political expectation: For each 1 percentage point gain in its statewide vote share, a party normally increases its seat share by 2 percentage points.

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