Busting the Myth That Wisconsin Republicans Redistricted Their Way to the Majority
By now I'm sure you've heard the argument that the only reason Wisconsin Republicans are in control in Madison is that they rigged the redistricting process and gerrymandered the maps.
Observing that Democrats took 51% of the vote nationwide but fell 33 seats short of a majority in the U.S. House, researchers John Sides and Eric McGhee ask: “Has gerrymandering allowed Republicans to defy the will of the people?”
Not really, they answer. For one thing, they observe, Democrats typically run up the score in densely populated urban areas in districts that are compactly drawn and properly respect communities of interest.
At most, they conclude, redistricting cost Democrats only 7 congressional seats. However, “once we took incumbency into account, the apparent effect of gerrymandering vanished.”
The Blaska Policy Werkes and Tanning Salon applied the same rigorous metrics to the Wisconsin Assembly, whose 99 members face re-election every year as does the U.S. House of Representatives.
Talk about running up the score: in populous urban areas like Dane County, Democrats Diane Hesselbein, Melissa Sargent, and Chris Taylor were elected to their first terms on November 6 without Republican opposition. Republicans tend not to make the race unless they perceive a reasonable chance of winning. Maybe they’re more pragmatic that way. Perhaps doing so save resources for the close battleground fights.
Here are some of the highlights from our free Key Reads post this morning:
Talking healthcare with Gov. Scott Walker (Washington Examiner)
Green Bay hears both sides of school choice debate (Green Bay Press Gazette)
Proposed budget sends tax dollars to circus museum (Media Trackers)
Don Pridemore: Appalled by "White Privilege" materials on DPI website (Wheeler)
Bill would deny purchase of unhealthy food with food stamps (Eau Claire Leader Telegram)
Walker: Obama measures success by government dependency (Daily Caller
Gwen Moore: No budget expert (Media Trackers)
Why Cyprus is a bigger deal than you think (Yahoo)
And check out today's Winner and Losers.
Finally, don't forget to vote in the free poll (bottom right of page).