North Carolina 2020 Redistricting
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October 15, 2021, 11:58:11 PM

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Author Topic: North Carolina 2020 Redistricting  (Read 19708 times)
lfromnj
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« Reply #600 on: October 14, 2021, 02:58:48 PM »

Asheville state house should be interesting. Democrats do have an incumbency deal there in place right now and I wonder if the GOP will keep that. Asheville is super blue but if you just draw one district with 90k in the center covering most of Asheville besides the southern arm the rest of the county is 50/50 by 2020 numbers You could definitely get an R seat out of this but right now after Democrats flipped both seats which were 50/50 in 2018 the GOP shored them both up by triple splitting Asheville.
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Sol
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« Reply #601 on: October 14, 2021, 03:19:31 PM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
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Southern Delegate Punxsutawney Phil
TimTurner
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« Reply #602 on: October 14, 2021, 03:27:26 PM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.
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Sol
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« Reply #603 on: October 14, 2021, 05:13:34 PM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.

I also wonder if the awkward western split of Watauga might come from trying to do this without miffing Virginia Foxx. Foxx lives in Avery right over the county line, but started her political career in Watauga County government and used to work at App. She might want the area near her home so she doesn't get slammed as a full on carpetbagger.
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lfromnj
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« Reply #604 on: October 14, 2021, 05:19:59 PM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.

I also wonder if the awkward western split of Watauga might come from trying to do this without miffing Virginia Foxx. Foxx lives in Avery right over the county line, but started her political career in Watauga County government and used to work at App. She might want the area near her home so she doesn't get slammed as a full on carpetbagger.

By the way Sol, how should Buncombe have its 3 state house districts ideally?
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Non Swing Voter
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« Reply #605 on: October 14, 2021, 06:25:07 PM »

I remain confused as to why R gerrymanders keep giving Watauga to Cawthorn. Are they that confident in their chances there, or are they ambivalent about Cawthorn's electoral position? It would cost them nothing to make that district likely R rather than Lean R.

Maybe party leaders want to keep it but give him a warning shot that they won't do him any favors if he doesn't cut the bullsh**.
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lfromnj
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« Reply #606 on: Today at 01:44:40 AM »
« Edited: Today at 08:55:28 AM by lfromnj »

https://www.johnlocke.org/update/redistricting-dilemmas-all-the-kings-horses-and-all-the-kings-men-cannot-put-caldwell-county-back-together-again/

https://www.johnlocke.org/update/redistricting-dilemmas-legislators-must-either-split-fayetteville-or-surround-it/

https://www.johnlocke.org/update/redistricting-dilemmas-if-you-aint-packing-asheville-youre-cracking-asheville/

Some interesting articles on the state legislative maps from some conservative think tank.

1st article is just about some rural county in western NC and has no partisan implications but shows a good explanation of how the county clusters can be a bit annoying to certain communities and infuriate legislators.
2nd is about the ugly Moore/Cumberland district. Obviously the GOP would prefer to keep Fayetteville whole but it just showed both options from a relatively non partisan perspective.
The third article is arguing for a sort of proportional gerrymander which would benefit the GOP as of from now but they aren't wrong in that the old map kept Asheville whole while creating 2 swing seats .
 The new map just has 3 Safe D seats by cracking Asheville 3 ways. It would still be better for Democrats to have an Asheville pack and 2 swing seats as those swing seats would probably be left of the median district compared to 2 Safe D and a Likely R.
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Sol
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« Reply #607 on: Today at 09:32:39 AM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.

I also wonder if the awkward western split of Watauga might come from trying to do this without miffing Virginia Foxx. Foxx lives in Avery right over the county line, but started her political career in Watauga County government and used to work at App. She might want the area near her home so she doesn't get slammed as a full on carpetbagger.

By the way Sol, how should Buncombe have its 3 state house districts ideally?

I think it's pretty obviously 1 Asheville district and two outer seats. Though splitting Asheville isn't horrible--a lot of the neighborhoods have stuff in common with the suburbs.
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lfromnj
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« Reply #608 on: Today at 09:44:26 AM »
« Edited: Today at 09:57:57 AM by lfromnj »


https://sites.duke.edu/quantifyinggerrymandering/files/2021/08/countyClusters2020.pdf
Never mind. There were 2 choices for the NE seats.

This other choice creates a Biden +4 seat.
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lfromnj
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« Reply #609 on: Today at 09:59:16 AM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.

I also wonder if the awkward western split of Watauga might come from trying to do this without miffing Virginia Foxx. Foxx lives in Avery right over the county line, but started her political career in Watauga County government and used to work at App. She might want the area near her home so she doesn't get slammed as a full on carpetbagger.

By the way Sol, how should Buncombe have its 3 state house districts ideally?

I think it's pretty obviously 1 Asheville district and two outer seats. Though splitting Asheville isn't horrible--a lot of the neighborhoods have stuff in common with the suburbs.


Here's an interesting idea that arguably makes sense. Blue seems to be the upscale part of the county right?
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Sol
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« Reply #610 on: Today at 11:42:04 AM »

A lot of these maps have NC-05 taking a deep dive into Greensboro--the Republicans might be thinking that putting Boone and Greensboro in the same district might be taking things too far, especially given the big swings to Democrats in the former.
That's a very good point, thank you.

I also wonder if the awkward western split of Watauga might come from trying to do this without miffing Virginia Foxx. Foxx lives in Avery right over the county line, but started her political career in Watauga County government and used to work at App. She might want the area near her home so she doesn't get slammed as a full on carpetbagger.

By the way Sol, how should Buncombe have its 3 state house districts ideally?

I think it's pretty obviously 1 Asheville district and two outer seats. Though splitting Asheville isn't horrible--a lot of the neighborhoods have stuff in common with the suburbs.


Here's an interesting idea that arguably makes sense. Blue seems to be the upscale part of the county right?

That makes sense to me. This is what I had drafted when I played around with it last night:



Blue is super D of course, Green is likely D, and Purple is likely R.

The split of outer Buncombe is kind of challenging, and I think I'd defer to the judgement of someone from there, because the areas outside of Asheville don't seem super closely connected with each other, or even super alike. I went with this because the eastern and southern parts of the county seem a little more transplant-heavy and in some areas suburban, while that's the opposite in the north and west.
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Sorenroy
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« Reply #611 on: Today at 08:52:41 PM »

Here is a second draft of a Republican gerrymandered NC State House. For this map, I decided to prioritize minimizing city (as defined by Dave's Redistricting App) splits above gerrymandering for districts. As such, while this map uses the same guidelines as my previous post, I am somewhat revising this point:

  • Municipal Boundaries: In areas where Republicans already beat the gerrymandering criteria and nothing could be done to gerrymander further in their favor, I did my best to maintain municipalities. In the case of municipalities too large to fit into one district or municipalities that interlocked with others to create a cluster of precincts too large to fit into one district, I did my best to minimize (1) the number of municipality splits and (2) minimize the number of districts any municipality was split into. I tried to maintain larger municipalities when possible, but if breaking one larger municipality would maintain two smaller ones, I used the raw number of splits as the deciding factor. If there were multiple ways to divide districts with minimal splits, I then went back to making each district as Republican as possible.

Now, the hierarchy of goals is as follows:

  • Minimize County Splits: Both this and the previous map followed this rule. Both maps abide by Duke's set of optimal county clusters, keep districts fully within counties when population allows, and minimize the points at which counties are split when need be. While it is not explicitly written that a county couldn't have multiple tendrils pull from it if it already needed to be split, I have seen no drafts, NC or otherwise, that allow for this. As such, while I don't necessarily see any value in contiguous precincts within a county if a district is otherwise connected, I also see no reason to violate that "rule."
  • Minimize "Voting District" Splits: Again, this is something that I also abided by in the previous map. As before, I avoided splitting precincts to make this map. While I made mention of the single necessary split in between Carteret and Craven in the previous post, it is actually implemented here.
  • Minimize Municipality Splits: The third criteria used, and the goal of this map, was trying to minimize city splits. Without breaking up precincts, this can often become difficult as even smaller "cities" can reach across several highly populated precincts or can share precincts with other cities causing chains of cities to run together. As such, unlike splitting counties or precincts, splitting cities was unavoidable. While I did not attempt to split cities at a minimum number of points, as with county or precinct splits, I did try to minimize the number of districts each city was split into. I split as few cities as possible and split cities as little as possible if required.
  • R+10 Gerrymandering: Again, there is no definitive definition of what makes a safe district. For the purposes here, after minimizing county, precinct, and city splits, I tried my best to maximize the number of safe Republican districts on the assumption that a Popular Vote Index score of R+10 would probably be enough to keep almost any district safe.


    The Population Deviation is 9.98%, and it reflects the 2020 Census.

    65/100 on Dave's Proportionality Index
    42/100 on the Compactness Index
    99/100 on County Splitting
    74/100 on the Minority Representation index
    22/100 on Dave's competitiveness index

    The map above shows results from the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

    DRA Link.



    Partisan Breakdown by Election

    2016 Gubernatorial Election: 73R to 47D

    2016 Presidential Election: 76R to 44D

    2020 Gubernatorial Election: 62R to 58D

    2020 Presidential Election: 70R to 50D

    2016/2020 PVI: 77R to 43D



    Given the restriction that the each district minimize splits of all kinds, there is much less flexibility in how much different areas can be gerrymandered and much less flexibility in shoring up the 61st seat. As such, there is no improvements that can be made to make the 61st seat more favorable to the Republicans, at least under a Popular Vote Index criteria. As such, while the map in the previous post was able to create a R+9.81 balancing seat, this map can only achieve a R+7.12. Additionally, while the previous map had 60 R+>10 PVI seats, this one only has 55.

    That does not mean that this was an unsuccessful gerrymander, just that it's a weaker one. Cooper, even with a 4.5% win in 2020, still lost the 60th seat by a margin of 3.65% and the 61st seat (important because the Republicans won the Lieutenant Governor's seat) by 3.99%.


    There are three things I want to highlight in this map. The fist, very briefly, is a set of unnecessary splits. Both the Anson-Union and Harnett-Johnston county pairs had municipalities split where unnecessary given the secondary criteria of the first map and the primary criteria of this one. As such, while the lines of those county pairs changed in this map, they are better than the ones given in the first map and would apply to that map as well.

    Second, another mistake made in the first map was in Cumberland county. As a bit of a peak into my personal process, the best way I know how to make these maps is to find all the precincts in a given range of PVI and then stitch them together to make a full safe district. Sometimes I go back in and try to find deviations in turnout to get population balances right, but most of the time that just happens on the margins. In this specific instance though, it was something I did not catch until coming back and making this second map. There is a precinct in Cumberland county called G11B that has 23,496 people, 18,738 that are voting age, but only had 1,846 people vote for president in 2020. My best guess as of why is that the precinct houses the Pope Army Airfield, but I haven't noticed anywhere else where a military base has its population catalogued as living there but where the forces don't vote in the state. Additionally, I don't think it's a mistake. The State Board of Elections shows the same precinct boundaries and the same number of votes for each candidate in the precinct. And, while there is no real primary source for population by voting precinct, the districts don't make sense population-wise unless G11B is counted the way DRA shows.


    Finally, now that the legislature has started to draft some of its own maps, we have a point of comparison and analysis. For now, lets consider Cleveland and Moore counties. They have populations of 99,519 and 99,727 respectively, and both share the characteristic of being roughly in the center of a multi-county cluster (Cleveland in a nine county, seven district cluster and Moore in a five county five district cluster). In the proposed criteria on redistricting from earlier this year is the following line:

    Quote
    If a county is of sufficient population size to contain an entire congressional district within the county’s boundaries, the Committees shall construct a district entirely within that county.

    To me, this would seem to indicate that both counties should encapsulate one full district with the rest going to one or more of its neighbors in its grouping. As such, the districts in my map include snaking districts that look like gerrymanders given their odd shape, but are actually necessary to properly balance population. Perhaps the ugliest of these districts, 110, snakes through four different counties to collect excess populations. On the positive end, this means that communities within their own counties remain intact and represented by someone who owes none of their votes to other areas. On the other, that leaves mangled districts like the one below that are represented by someone that does not truly have roots in any major part of the community.


    The state legislature has opted to take their districts in another way. Instead of abiding by the rule to keep districts within single counties when possible, they have opted to minimize these stretched out districts. In both cases, rather than having a district collecting stray population on the edges of the map, they have opted to split the counties to be represented by different state legislators. In the case of Moore, this means taking a county that could have had its own district and splitting it into three separate districts making up about half (or less) of each of them. On the positive end, this means that there are no snakey, ugly districts connecting unrelated areas. On the other, that leaves counties that could have had their own representative split into multiple groups.



    To me, the state legislature's idea is probably the better option of the two. Even split three ways, it might be the case that Moore is better represented, as it now has three different representatives rather than just the one and the partial one of the snake. For the people who would have been in the snaking district, it also means that their rep is likely more keyed into their concerns rather than dashing from place to place along the road. This is just to explain why these areas have such an odd difference between what my map shows and what the Representatives are coming up with.
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