Redistricting is not expected to change the partisan balance of Congress

They conclude that Utah did not experience a partisan gerrymander of its US House seats.

In a painstaking state-by-state analysis of all 435 U.S. House seats, some sharp political scientists predict that the 2011 redistricting round will have no net effect on the partisan balance of the 2013-2014 U.S. House. That doesn’t mean some states didn’t see a Republican or Democratic gerrymander; it just means that the Republican and Democratic gerrymanders cancel each other out on the national scale.

But here’s the Utah angle: They conclude that Utah did not experience a partisan gerrymander of its US House seats. Details here. (Edit: link fixed. Also a note: The post I’m linking to isn’t about Utah specifically. It’s about all 50 states. But look in the charts to see where Utah is.)

If you want to read a lot more about Utah’s 2011 redistricting, start here or maybe here.

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About Adam Brown

Adam Brown is an assistant professor of political science at Brigham Young University and a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. You can learn more about him at his website.
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3 Responses to Redistricting is not expected to change the partisan balance of Congress

  1. Brendan says:

    The link seems wrong. I think it should go to http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/09/28/the-2011-house-redistricting-state-by-state/

    I also think that since they only considered impact to D numbers (especially important in the re-apportionment analysis) and the final paragraph they say they did not look at individual races, just overall impact in the congressional balance, your statement that “They conclude that Utah did not experience a partisan gerrymander of its US House seats.” is wrong. I doubt the original author would stand by that statement.

    • Adam Brown says:

      Yes, the link is fixed.

      To make tables and figures easier, it’s standard in political science to put only one party on the graph, with the other implied. So a gain for D is a loss for R and vice versa. You can’t study Democratic gains/losses without studying Republican gains/losses too. You can feel free to check with the author if you wish, but I would be floored if they didn’t consider R numbers too. The chart is just a simplification. (I would lose massive respect for the author of that analysis otherwise.)

  2. Brendan says:

    Thanks for the update but I still think it is wrong to say “They conclude that Utah did not experience a partisan gerrymander of its US House seats”

    I think that the only thing you could say is that they “conclude” is that redistricting in Utah is not likely to cause a net change in the number of Democratic house members from the state.

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