Published: Mon, February 12, 2018

GOP House Majority Could Turn On This New District Map

GOP House Majority Could Turn On This New District Map

The CBS coverage reminded viewers that both Democratic and Republican parties are guilty of gerrymandering and both parties have long decried it.

The new plan includes 15 split counties and 17 split municipalities, Scarnati said. Gone are the infamous convolutions that characterized the old map, earning nicknames such as "Goofy kicking Donald Duck".

Pennsylvania's congressional districts are considered among the most illegally partisan in the country. That would replace district lines that now stretch all the way from Allentown and the New Jersey border in Northampton County to suburbs east of Harrisburg. The districts comply with the Voting Rights Act.

Not only that, but the vote margins in each district would be virtually identical. But the new map would likely have the same result.

Some - if not many - of the finer points of the old map that have drawn criticism were addressed.

From a partisan standpoint, in other words, the new map is nearly exactly like the old one.

In a 5-2 decision along party lines on January 22, the court declared that the state's 18 congressional districts "clearly, plainly and palpably" violate the state constitution.

The governor, whose administration is combing through the proposal with the advice of a prominent mathematics professor, is expected to announce his position on the new map early this week. "Compared to the previous decade's plan, it was an improvement in measures like compactness and respecting county and municipal boundaries", Amos said.


"I don't know how many districts Trump won" or how any district performed for any candidate, Crompton said.

If new maps help Democrats flip Republican seats in Pennsylvania, it would help their party get closer to the goal of retaking majority control in the U.S. House this fall. Eventually, the case made it's way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. "They've chosen to encircle Philadelphia, and that gives a very packed Democratic district, and they've chosen to draw a line down some of these other population centers".

The plaintiffs aren't buying it.

Pennsylvania's current congressional map is shown. Whatever map is used in Pennsylvania could have a significant affect on who wins the House of Representatives in November.

"They should have challenged these maps after 2011, and they're challenging them now". "It might not be as precise as getting exact party breakdown predictions, as is possible with redistricting software loaded up with those data, but it doesn't guarantee that the process was partisan-blind".

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny), pointing to that move as an example, said Saturday the new boundaries "are another case of overreach" by the GOP. Jowei Chen of the University of MI created 500 computer-drawn district maps optimized for Pennsylvania's traditional redistricting criteria of compactness, contiguity and equal population.

Now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has thrown out the current congressional districts as unconstitutional, the Legislature, the governor and the court must now decide to implement a short-term fix or to establish a game-changing precedent.

They forwarded the map and other materials to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who has until Thursday to tell the justices if he supports it. If Wolf rejects it, the Supreme Court will instruct independent redistricting expert Nathaniel Persily of Stanford University to draw a new map from scratch.

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