Yes it is time, way past time really. Otherwise, the GOP runs the risk of winning the battle, while losing the war. Focusing on CD districts, it seems pretty clear to me, that the net effect of gerrymanders currently in place nets the GOP a max of maybe 10 CD’s nationwide. I suspect it’s less now, as the the GOP loses cosmopolitan voters in big metro areas, while cutting into the white working class elsewhere in more exurban and rural areas, and smaller industrial towns. Meanwhile the Dems are launching a jihad to gerrymander CD’s in their favor, on the premise that the share of the pie in legislatures, should be more reflective of the share of the pie in statewide popular votes. That has some appeal, and the GOP is more vulnerable to the extent it plays its own gerrymandering game.
A case in point is PA. Just look at the graphics. This is a map I drew based on projected 2020 census numbers, in other words, a map that one might draw in 2021. Without a gerrymander, net the GOP cedes the CD that PA losses after the next census. Sure, the PVI numbers are based on the 2016 election alone, where Trump cut into the white working class in a way that might not hold for the GOP in general going forward. But that is not the point. The point is that the GOP abandoning its hideous gerrymander in PA, does not cost it much, while giving it the high ground, the better to the deflect the coming Dem jihad on this issue. It’s kind of ironic, that the GOP Dem pack of PA-17, is now having the effect of saving the seat for the Dems, that otherwise might well go down the drain. One would think, the GOP would go about the unpacking business. Yes, some seats are somewhat marginal, that could with a hideous gerrymander, be made safe GOP, but I think more marginal seats is just what the public square needs. It tends to encourage folks to run, actually interested in trying to find common ground, rather than divisive slash and burn policies, that in the end tend to be public policy failures. Just the opinion of this old man, who has been running around the track since rocks cooled.
So says this former Pub, now a Dem, but really not a very partisan person. I am more of a data based good government person, more of a technocrat that anything else. What do you think? Yes, I know it might be something of a pipe dream. In my opinion, both parties are well, not very helpful when it comes to intelligent public policy. No, they tend to be more into high school towel snapping, but I digress.
Below is a slightly revised PA map that gets a slightly higher score, using totally objective criteria. I won’t bore you as to the details as to why, unless someone is interested. But as you can see, it looks a bit better to the eye. Avoid chops, either by county or county subdivision, and minimize erosity, and keep metro areas intact, as much as one can, to get the max score. A computer does it all. Mere humans need not apply. When it comes to redistricting, humans are just too biased. Even God may be too biased to do it. One needs to set up tight rules in advance, and let a computer do the implementation. This works guys. It really does.
Somebody below mentioned Missouri, the “Show Me” state, expressing doubt that the rules as outlined by me, would effect anything other than aesthetic excrescence of a map for the state. So I drew the map, based on 202o census projections to find out. What do you guys think? Is it map malpractice, or a museum quality object d’art? I feel the force is with the creator of this algorithm, yes I do. And you guys are getting an advance preview. Isn’t that exciting? 🙂
Addendum 4; a higher scoring Michigan map
Addendum 5: New York map based on the March 2017 county population estimates projected forward to the 2020 April, 1, 2020 census date.
Addendum 6: New map for PA based on the latest county census estimates for the 2020 census redistricting.