Pa. No. 2 in the U.S. for GOP gerrymandering gains

The victor in more than 40 percent of all state Assembly or House races last November ran unopposed by a candidate from the other major party.

The study is based on a formula that compares the statewide average share of each major party's vote in the districts with the statewide percentage of seats it wins.

The GOP ultimately fell short of winning enough seats to finally control the House, which Democrats now govern with a slim 79-72 majority.

An analysis by The Associated Press found that in some states, three-quarters or more of all state House or Assembly races go uncontested in the general election.

Democrats and redistricting drafters in Nevada reject the notion of a Democratic advantage, pointing out that Republicans won control of the Legislature in one of the three elections since the current district lines were implemented. For some candidates - such as Republican Rep. Craig Redmon in northeastern Missouri and Democratic Rep. Gail McCann Beatty in Kansas City - 2016 marked the third straight election in which they were the only choice on the ballot. Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were almost three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts.

"There are significantly more pro-Republican maps at the moment than there are pro-Democratic maps", Nick Stephanopoulos, a University of Chicago law professor who helped create the statistical method used in the new AP analysis, told the Associated Press.

A new analysis by the Associated Press suggests that Tennessee likely will not be forced to redraw its legislative districts even if the U.S. Supreme court chooses to crack down on the practice of partisan gerrymandering. It also underscores years of legal battles in Texas over redistricting.

"Partisan bias is distorting the composition of the U.S. House, and a handful of states are principally responsible for driving it", the Brennan Center found.

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But "part of it is the gerrymandering issue, in that districts are simply drawn in such a way that it is very difficult" for Democrats to win in many parts of the state, Beatty added.

In Idaho, districts for Congress and the state Legislature are drawn every 10 years by a six-member commission answerable only to the courts.

The analysis found Republicans won 56 percent of the votes in Ohio House races yet 66 percent of the seats.

Toscano said opposition to Trump is so strong that it's overcome the reluctance Democratic candidates have had in the past to compete in a district with Republican-friendly boundaries.

The country's biggest advantage at an estimated 3.7 excess U.S. House seats for the GOP was Texas, fueled by an "efficiency gap" of 10.3 percent.

According to the formula, the Utah GOP also won one more Congressional seat than their vote totals would merit.

For Democrats to complain of gerrymandering is "pure nonsense", said Matt Walter, the Republican committee's president.

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