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Smart Politics to Live Blog Conference on MN Redistricting

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On Monday morning Smart Politics will live blog a conference on redistricting reform in Minnesota at the Humphrey Institute.

Toward More Open Government:
A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process

Monday, December 1, 2008
8:30am - 12:00pm
Humphrey Forum
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

From the Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance:

“How are the boundaries of legislative districts determined? In Europe, non-partisan boundary commissions draw the boundaries. In the United States, state legislatures usually draw the boundaries for their own districts. Civic groups warn that legislators draw their own districts in ways to help themselves and their fellow partisans. In Minnesota, the process has the added challenge of not working over the past several cycles of redistricting. These questions take on urgency now because Minnesota may lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives owing to the state’s population size relative to that of other states.

The process to draw legislative districts is picking up speed in Minnesota. Leaders and citizens have questions about how the redistricting process will work, what risk Minnesota faces in terms of losing a congressional seat, and how other states draw legislative districts.

Toward More Open Government: A Conference on Reforming the Redistricting Process will examine the current process for drawing legislative districts, learn lessons from other states approaches to drawing legislative districts, and consider the risk of losing a congressional seat.

Center director Larry Jacobs will be joined by Michael McDonald of George Mason University, Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy, John Griffin of the University of Notre Dame, legislators, and other experts to discuss this timely issue.?

View the conference agenda here.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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