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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:32 pm 
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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, relying solely on the State Constitution, has held that the map of its Congressional Districts is unconstitutional. It matters a lot that the Supreme Court relied solely on the State Constitution because the interpretation of the State Constitution is not subject to federal review.

Republicans currently hold 13 of Pennsylvania's 18 Congressional Districts, even though Pennsylvania has more Democrats than Republicans. I'm expecting the new map to result in a significant shift of that number. --Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm 
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Bob78164 wrote:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, relying solely on the State Constitution, has held that the map of its Congressional Districts is unconstitutional. It matters a lot that the Supreme Court relied solely on the State Constitution because the interpretation of the State Constitution is not subject to federal review.

Republicans currently hold 13 of Pennsylvania's 18 Congressional Districts, even though Pennsylvania has more Democrats than Republicans. I'm expecting the new map to result in a significant shift of that number. --Bob

The Court gave the General Assembly just about three weeks to redraw an acceptable map. The Senate President said they'd be filing an application with the United States Supreme Court this week to request a stay.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:53 pm 
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While there are more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania, the problem in Pennsylvania for Democrats is that they are so concentrated geographically in Philly.

If you look at the 2012 election results. Obama won the 1st and 2nd districts which are essentially the Philly districts by 499,107 votes.

He won Pennsylvania by a total 309,840 votes. Ergo, Romney won the rest of Pennsylvania by about 190,000 votes.

What are you going to do? Pie-shape the Philly districts out for 100 miles?

Obviously, the geographic problem for Democrats (outside of Philadelphia) is made worse with the concentration of Democrat votes in Pittsburg, which I did not feel like figuring out.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:16 pm 
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Spock wrote:
While there are more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania, the problem in Pennsylvania for Democrats is that they are so concentrated geographically in Philly.

If you look at the 2012 election results. Obama won the 1st and 2nd districts which are essentially the Philly districts by 499,107 votes.

He won Pennsylvania by a total 309,840 votes. Ergo, Romney won the rest of Pennsylvania by about 190,000 votes.

What are you going to do? Pie-shape the Philly districts out for 100 miles?

Obviously, the geographic problem for Democrats (outside of Philadelphia) is made worse with the concentration of Democrat votes in Pittsburg, which I did not feel like figuring out.

Take a look at this map. It's obviously gerrymandered.
Image

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:06 pm 
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Spock wrote:
While there are more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania, the problem in Pennsylvania for Democrats is that they are so concentrated geographically in Philly.

If you look at the 2012 election results. Obama won the 1st and 2nd districts which are essentially the Philly districts by 499,107 votes.

He won Pennsylvania by a total 309,840 votes. Ergo, Romney won the rest of Pennsylvania by about 190,000 votes.

What are you going to do? Pie-shape the Philly districts out for 100 miles?

Obviously, the geographic problem for Democrats (outside of Philadelphia) is made worse with the concentration of Democrat votes in Pittsburg, which I did not feel like figuring out.
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. Like many suburban areas, they are in the process of becoming pretty Democratic, a process that was already well under way by 2010. That's why the districts just outside Philadelphia have such weird shapes -- it took real work to carve out relatively safe Republican districts.

Geographic concentration is an issue. But it's not an issue that can account for a 13-5 division.

There's one other point, by the way. None of the Justices said that the map was lawful under state law. The divide on the Court was whether the proposed timing of a solution was practicable. But that's not a federal issue. --Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Bob78164 wrote:
Spock wrote:
While there are more Democrats than Republicans in Pennsylvania, the problem in Pennsylvania for Democrats is that they are so concentrated geographically in Philly.

If you look at the 2012 election results. Obama won the 1st and 2nd districts which are essentially the Philly districts by 499,107 votes.

He won Pennsylvania by a total 309,840 votes. Ergo, Romney won the rest of Pennsylvania by about 190,000 votes.

What are you going to do? Pie-shape the Philly districts out for 100 miles?

Obviously, the geographic problem for Democrats (outside of Philadelphia) is made worse with the concentration of Democrat votes in Pittsburg, which I did not feel like figuring out.
I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. Like many suburban areas, they are in the process of becoming pretty Democratic, a process that was already well under way by 2010. That's why the districts just outside Philadelphia have such weird shapes -- it took real work to carve out relatively safe Republican districts.

Geographic concentration is an issue. But it's not an issue that can account for a 13-5 division.

There's one other point, by the way. None of the Justices said that the map was lawful under state law. The divide on the Court was whether the proposed timing of a solution was practicable. But that's not a federal issue. --Bob
Before the 2010 redistricting, the Congressional district that includes my current home, in the Philadelphia suburbs, was heavily contested. Now I'm in a district that also includes much of West Philadelphia, and it's guaranteed Democratic. So I often volunteer for candidates in the nearby 7th district (the one that's shaped like Donald Duck kicking Goofy). Despite its obvious gerrymandering, it's still competitive. Last month the leading Democratic candidate, Daylin Leach, suspended his campaign because of harassment allegations (see the Harvey topic). But this week the Republican incumbent is accused of harassment.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:52 pm 
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The map showing Democrats and Republicans is generally the same as the map showing density of welfare recipients. The Democrats continue to be the modern day slave masters.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:04 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
The map showing Democrats and Republicans is generally the same as the map showing density of welfare recipients. The Democrats continue to be the modern day slave masters.
You do realize that red states are the ones that tend to be recipient states and blue states tend to be donor states. That was true even before the recently passed tax bill took effect, and it's only going to get worse. --Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Bob78164 wrote:
BackInTex wrote:
The map showing Democrats and Republicans is generally the same as the map showing density of welfare recipients. The Democrats continue to be the modern day slave masters.
You do realize that red states are the ones that tend to be recipient states and blue states tend to be donor states. That was true even before the recently passed tax bill took effect, and it's only going to get worse. --Bob


You keep saying stuff like that but whatever you are looking at is not apples to apples with what I' saying. But that's O.K. You can keep living in your dream world. Looks like your state is soon to allow non-citizens (legal and not) to vote. Doesn't seem too smart, but then CA politics hasn't been known for that attribute in a long time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:42 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
Bob78164 wrote:
BackInTex wrote:
The map showing Democrats and Republicans is generally the same as the map showing density of welfare recipients. The Democrats continue to be the modern day slave masters.
You do realize that red states are the ones that tend to be recipient states and blue states tend to be donor states. That was true even before the recently passed tax bill took effect, and it's only going to get worse. --Bob


You keep saying stuff like that but whatever you are looking at is not apples to apples with what I' saying. But that's O.K. You can keep living in your dream world. Looks like your state is soon to allow non-citizens (legal and not) to vote. Doesn't seem too smart, but then CA politics hasn't been known for that attribute in a long time.
That's certainly not happening as long as Jerry Brown is Governor, and I doubt it will happen after that. But what do I know? I've only lived here pretty much my entire adult life. --Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:21 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
The Democrats continue to be the modern day slave masters.


If that weren't so pathetically sad, it would be funny.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:57 pm 
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The Supreme Court has declined to intervene in the dispute. District lines will be redrawn in time for the 2018 elections. --Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:56 pm 
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Democrats may not have to wait until November to pick up one seat in Pennsylvania:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... 2b7b624d9f

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Governor Wolf has rejected the Legislature's redistricting plan, so it looks like Pennsylvania's new Congressional Districts will be drawn by the courts. --Bob

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:43 pm 
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Bob78164 wrote:
Governor Wolfe has rejected the Legislature's redistricting plan, so it looks like Pennsylvania's new Congressional Districts will be drawn by the courts. --Bob

Governor Wolf is a (D) and the legislature is (R). Their new map is almost as bad as the old one.
Image

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:18 am 
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Bob Juch wrote:
Bob78164 wrote:
Governor Wolfe has rejected the Legislature's redistricting plan, so it looks like Pennsylvania's new Congressional Districts will be drawn by the courts. --Bob

Governor Wolf is a (D) and the legislature is (R). Their new map is almost as bad as the old one.
Image


Looks almost like the current North Carolina district map--still technically gerrymandered, but without the borders that look like octopuses or bacon strips. Give me 24 hours and I could probably draw up a cleaner district map that more accurately reflects the voters of Pennsylvania. (I actually already drew one for Ohio the other day.) Of course, any such new map--real or hypothetical--would last for only a couple of years because the 2020 Census is coming up and Pennsylvania will probably lose at least one district.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 pm 
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OK, it took me only about 4 hours to draw up a congressional map. I've posted it to my Google account.

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipP ... mTVj8TODys

If you can't access Google Photos, no worries. I will explain each district in detail. I've kept as many of the current district numbers as possible.

District 1 (dark green): Central and western Philadelphia. A much nicer shape than that bacon strip running along the Delaware River, which is present in both the current and the revised GOP map. Bob Brady (D) has represented this area since 1998, and he will probably be here until he dies. SAFE DEMOCRATIC

District 2 (dark blue): Northern Philadelphia County and the little bits of eastern Montgomery County that didn't fit into my redrawn 7th District. This area has been represented for the past 15 months by Dwight Evans (D), successor to the newly imprisoned Chaka Fattah. These two Philadelphia districts correct one of the problems prevalent in the Republicans' gerrymandered maps: minority packing. The current version of this district is 61% Black, which allowed the Republicans to carve around this area in order to create as many red districts as possible in the Philly suburbs. My proposed districts spread out the minority voters, while still maintaining minority-majority status. My 1st and 2nd Districts each have a 43% Black plurality, with around 10% Hispanic population in each. SAFE DEMOCRATIC

District 3 (magenta): Northwestern corner of Pennsylvania. The current 3d District cracks the city of Erie and attaches it to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. The revised GOP map keeps Erie County intact, but keeps it attached to those Pittsburgh suburbs. Both are totally pointless, as Pittsburgh and Erie have nothing in common. My 3rd District preserves local interest by keeping its borders out of the Pittsburgh area and in the northwestern corner. Mike Kelly (R) and Glenn Thompson (R) each currently represent parts of this district, but neither one would actually want to run in this district because it's a purple district. TOSSUP

District 4 (red): York and Lancaster. The GOP has these two cities in different districts, but I believe that these two cities share interest and belong together. Most of this district is currently represented by Scott Perry (R), but 16th District representative Lloyd Smucker (R) is the only representative who actually lives within this district's borders. Smucker would feel at home here, as he would go from an R+5 district to an R+9 district. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 5 (yellow): North central Pennsylvania. Includes the cities of Williamsport and State College. This district could set up a Republican primary against two incumbents. 10th District representative Tom Marino lives in Williamsport, but Glenn Thompson actually represents more of this area than Marino does. Thompson lives in Venango County in the 3d District, but he could easily move to Jefferson County next door if he wanted to challenge Marino. The revised GOP map that Bob Juch posted shows that a part of Marino's home county (Lycoming County) is added to the 5th District, but Williamsport is kept in the 10th--now stretching down to Harrisburg instead of looping around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Regardless of who runs and who wins the primary, my 5th District is super-red. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 6 (teal): Reading, Jim Thorpe, Pottsville, and the western suburbs of Allentown that wouldn't fit into the 15th District. This is a totally new district that keeps Berks County whole, whereas the current map cracks it into four parts and the revised GOP map breaks it into two districts. 15th District representative Charlie Dent (R) has represented most of this district since 2005, but he's retiring at the end of this year, so this would be an open district. This is a reliably red district, as opposed to Dent's current pink district, so Dent could change his mind. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 7 (gray): Wholly contained within Montgomery County. This is one of those counties that Republicans love to crack. It's cracked into four parts in both the current map and the revised map. It's not hard to see why: This county went for President Obama by 12 points in 2012 and for Hillary Clinton by 21 points in 2016. My map requires only one split of this county, with the remainder of the county going into the 2nd District (as stated earlier). No current representatives live in Montgomery County, although current 13th District representative Brendan Boyle (D) does represent a chunk of this area as a part of his Philadelphia gerrymander. He would have to move to Montgomery County, because he certainly wouldn't dare try to challenge either Bob Brady or Dwight Evans in a primary. SAFE DEMOCRATIC no matter who runs here.

District 8 (violet-blue): Bucks County, with some of the northeastern Philadelphia precincts that didn't fit into the 2nd District. Republicans have long since attached Bucks County to the conservative parts of neighboring Montgomery County in order to protect their own, but I've protected the integrity of Montgomery County instead (as stated earlier). Of course, you could swap out some of those precincts at the Bucks-Montgomery-Philadelphia junction. Attach the far eastern point of Montgomery County to Bucks County, add some of Philadelphia County to the 7th District, and fill out the 2nd District to the Bucks-Philadelphia county line. The results would be the same in either scenario: A district that narrowly went for Hillary in 2016. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) was just elected to this seat in 2016, but he would be in danger in my 8th District this year. TOSSUP

District 9 (cyan): Southwestern Pennsylvania. Pretty much a combination of the current 9th and 18th Districts. Currently an open district, as Tim Murphy (R) recently resigned after finding himself on the Harvey List. Whoever wins the Republican primary here would cruise to victory in the general election. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 10 (pink); South central Pennsylvania. The Shusters (Rs) have represented this area since 1973--Bud from 1973-2001 and his son, Bill, since 2001. Bill can have this district for as long as he wants because this is the darkest red part of the state. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 11 (light green): Harrisburg, Hershey, and Lebanon. The current GOP map cracks the Harrisburg area into three parts. Their revised map splits it into two parts. I've kept Harrisburg Metro whole and attached it only to the immediate northern counties. Not nearly as conservative as Scott Perry's current 4th District, but he should have no trouble winning here. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 12 (cornflower): Pittsburgh suburbs. Much cleaner than the mess that the Republicans have made of this area. Mike Kelly of the 3rd District lives here, and this district is several points redder than his current one. SAFE REPUBLICAN

District 13 (salmon): Delaware County and the conservative southern parts of Philadelphia. Delaware County is yet another county that Republicans slice and dice all to hell. I've kept it whole. Hillary won Delaware County by 22 points in 2016. Even with conservative precincts added, there is no way that current 7th District representative Pat Meehan (R-Drexel Hill) would run in this D+12 district. He would either retire or carpetbag to the neighboring 16th District. SAFE DEMOCRATIC

District 14 (olive green): Pittsburgh. The GOP regularly cracks Allegheny County into three parts in order to create multiple red districts around this area. My map splits Allegheny County one time only. My 14th District keeps Pittsburgh whole and adds it to the conservative northern part of the county. Mike Doyle (D) goes from a D+17 district to a D+8 district, but he shouldn't have any problems winning re-election. Current 12th District representative Keith Rothfus (R-Sewickley) also lives in this district, but he wouldn't dare run here. He would retire, try to challenge Kelly in the new 12th District, or take a shot in the new 18th District. SAFE DEMOCRATIC

District 15 (orange): Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and Stroudsburg. This area is cracked in the current GOP map, but they fixed that in their recent revision. My only excursion from their revised map is that I put Monroe County in this district instead of Carbon County. This is an ancestrally Democratic district that has lurched to the conservative side in recent years. Thanks to Drumpf, this district will probably lurch back. For now, I'll call this district TOSSUP, LEANS REPUBLICAN

District 16 (neon green): Chester County and the eastern half of Lancaster County. Chester County is another victim of Republican gerrymandering, but I've kept it whole in my map. Current 6th District representative Ryan Costello (R-West Chester) lives here, but he could get a primary challenge if Pat Meehan chose to move here. Although Chester County went for Hillary by 9 points in 2016, the addition of eastern Lancaster County makes this a purple district. Incumbency might be enough for either Costello or Meehan to win in November. TOSSUP, LEANS REPUBLICAN

District 17 (purple): Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Looks pretty much the same as the 17th District in the GOP's revised map, except that I've kept Luzerne County intact and ceded Monroe County to the 15th District. Although this is an R+2 district, Matthew Cartwright (D) has easily won in this area in the last three House elections. Current 11th District representative Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton) also lives here, but he is way too conservative for an R+2 district. In fact, that's why the Republicans cut up Luzerne County--to protect Barletta from Cartwright. Hazleton is just across the county line from my new 6th District, so Barletta could easily move there if Charlie Dent stuck with his retirement intentions. LEANS DEMOCRATIC

District 18 (bright yellow): Washington County and the remainder of Allegheny County. Although Drumpf (allegedly) won Washington County by 25 points in 2016, the southern Pittsburgh suburbs erase all of that redness. Expect fireworks in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. TOSSUP

Overall, my map produces 5 safe blue seats, 1 lean blue seat, 5 competitive seats, and 7 safe red seats.

That was fun. Now I am going to bed.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:30 am 
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Nice job, Pastor. I couldn't see the map, but your descriptions are informative.

Delaware County has a slight Democratic majority as a whole, but it has a multitude of towns that range from ultra-liberal to solid Republican. No wonder the GOP likes to break it up.

FYI, Meehan's on the Harvey list too. And you don't have to physically move into a district to run there.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:39 am 
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Pastor Fireball wrote:
OK, it took me only about 4 hours to draw up a congressional map. I've posted it to my Google account.

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipP ... mTVj8TODys

I get a 404 error. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:48 pm 
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The Democrats have submitted maps of their own.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Governor Wolf's map:

Image

And finally, the State Supreme Court's map:

Image

The Court's map is the best IMHO, but I can't judge Pastor Fireball's fairly without seeing it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:17 pm 
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I think the Supreme Court map is pretty fair .... it DOES put part of South Philadelphia in Delaware County but, as far as I can tell -- thanks to retirements -- it doesn't pit an incumbent versus another incumbent.

Both of them beat the map that Lt Gov Mike Stack drew up. It pitted my Congressman,Brendan Boyle vs. Republican rep Brian Fitzpatrick of (mostly) Bucks County. It stems from a political feud - Stack hates the Boyle Brothers (Brendan and his brother Kevin, a state rep). And they don't like him much, either.


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