Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


US House Redistricting: Iowa Gets Lowest Marks for Proportionality

Bookmark and Share

In the coming year or so states will begin to outline plans for the redistricting process that will go into effect in 2012 after the 2010 Census results. One way to measure the 'success' of these processes is to examine to what extent the proportion of votes cast for a particular party translates into the proportion of seats won in government.

Smart Politics analyzed US House elections in the Upper Midwest since 1960 and found—collectively—the proportion of votes cast in Minnesota and Wisconsin between democrats and republicans bore a close relationship to the number of seats won between these two parties, while the number of seats won in Iowa was heavily skewed towards the Republican Party.

In Minnesota, the DFL / GOP split 54% to 46% respectively in votes cast since 1960 with the DFL having a 57% to 43% advantage in seats won during this span (105 to 80 seats).

In Wisconsin, the relationship is very similar: democrats and republicans are split 50% to 50% among the nearly 40 million votes cast for those parties since 1960, with Democrats winning a narrow majority of seats (109 to 102, or 52% to 48%).

In Iowa, the distribution is much more skewed in favor of the republicans. Republicans have a 52% to 48% advantage in votes cast, but a much larger 64% to 36% advantage in seats won (88 to 50). For example, in 1990, the GOP won 4 of the 5 US House seats, but there were actually more votes for democratic candidates (400,852) than republican candidates (385,003).

(In South Dakota, republicans have a 51.5% to 48.5% advantage in votes cast, but a 62% to 38% advantage in seats won (21 to 13). South Dakota is a special case, however, because since 1982 it only has an at-large seat, so there is only one district in the race for US House).

Previous post: Voter Turnout Uncertain for 2006 Election
Next post: Bush Drag Not Affecting All Republicans

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting