Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

Democratic House Minority Leader David Toscano said the reason why more Democrats are running this year is obvious.

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. A similar analysis in 2014 showed Democrats had a slight advantage in the same districts.

An analysis by The Associated Press has found that partisan gerrymandering influenced the outcomes of numerous congressional and state legislative races across the country last fall, giving an advantage to Republicans.

The amount of partisan advantage favoring Missouri Republicans was fairly typical when compared with other states.

Roughly 20 percent of seats up for election had just one major party candidate - seven for Republicans and six for Democrats.

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"Republicans have done a good job of targeting those areas and getting good candidates and putting a lot of money into marginal districts, which they tend to win", he said.

The state legislature redrew Kentucky's House districts in 2012.

Republicans acknowledge the 2002 rewrite favored their party. He said the party has no discipline and doesn't recruit candidates as aggressively as it should. But he also agrees partly with Beatty.

Republican critics of Democratic concerns over gerrymandering point to what they say is Democrats' poor campaigning, their concentration in cities-a sort of "voluntary gerrymandering", some say-and their lack of incumbents to explain the Republican voting advantage. The Legislature overrode the veto, and the state Supreme Court later found the plan constitutional.

At least two-thirds of the commissioners must vote to approve a map. Their final map, agreed to unanimously, didn't mirror any particular one of those recommendations.

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"It's become a little bit of a hard sell with our larger majority because we have a lot of people who have not served in the minority", Torr said.

The AP also calculated efficiency gap scores for U.S. House elections, translating those into estimates of extra seats won because of partisan advantages.

Missouri's redistricting office analyzed the new House districts in 2011 by applying a decade of past election results.

Republican House candidates received 763,824 votes in 2016, compared to 694,720 votes for Democratic candidates. It cuts through three counties - and has three House seats, two held by Democrats.

The AP analysis was based on a formula developed by University of Chicago law professor Nick Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, a researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

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The analysis measuring the "efficiency gap" shows Kentucky Republicans won about three more seats than they should have given their share of statewide votes.

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