Thursday, November 15, 2012

Redistricting in Wisconsin: The Plumber Controls the Spigot

State Dems got more votes; no GOP mandate.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/13/2012)

Excerpt:   That's right; legislative Democrats won more votes than legislative Republicans statewide. By our calculations, when all is said and done, Democrats will have received close to 200,000 more votes than Republicans in Assembly races.  [Emphasis added]

The Republicans currently hold a 59-39 majority in the State Assembly, with 1 independent.

In January, the Republicans will hold a 60-39 majority.

It's all in how you draw the lines in the design.

It bears repeating.  Most of the following is from 8/1/2012 and 11/11/2012 posts.

Documents cast new light on redistricting process; reveal partisan motivations.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/31/2012, with bold added.)

Let's take a look at some of these compact districts.

We'll start with the district in which I now reside.

forcing Sondy Pope-Roberts (D- Town of Middleton) to reconsider her options. 

Sondy ran, and won, in the 80th District.

Here's my favorite.

More than half of Jefferson County,
3 townships in Dane County

which left Andy Jorgensen (D-Fort Atkinson) out in the cold.
57 miles from east to west.

Here's a view of the district from a statewide perspective......

Did Leah Vukmir get her wish?

Let's use the 15th Assembly District, part of her 5th Senate District, as the prime example.

Hello, Waukesha County!  (Lots more GOP.)  Goodbye, City of Milwaukee.

Which turned out to be an easy win for the Republican Joe Sanfelippo.

Then there's the State Assembly mash-up that took place in southeastern Wisconsin..

The "old" 61st Assembly District included most of the City of Racine.  (The "I", as in east or west of Interstate 94 is not shown on the map below.)

The new 61st Assembly District, shown below, abandons not only the City but also the County of Racine.

One of the first results is summarized in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headline:  State Rep. Turner not seeking re-election.  Turner is a Democrat.

The red line on the map indicates Interstate 94, generally considered to be the line of demarcation between more liberal (east) and most conservative (west) voters.

As a result of this redistricting, we end up with two incumbent legislators running against each other.

Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake).  Since 2000, she has represented the 66th AD, most of which is west of the I.

According to the Wisconsin GOP game plan, Kerkman easily defeated 8-term incumbent John Steinbrink (D-Pleasant Prairie), former 65AD representative, with 56% of the vote.  Most of Steinbrink's district was located east of the I.

And as a result of redistricting in the 70th, Democrat Amy Sue Vrunick went from winning her seat in 2010 with 56% of the vote to eking out a 168-vote margin in 2012.

The compact, old 70th

The sprawling, new 70th.

Related post:
The faces of gerrymandering.  (10/9/2012)

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