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Revisiting Redistricting in Texas: A method for predicting election results Maddalena Romano GEOG 596 A: Individual Studies

Introduction Thesis Statement: Using 2010 election data, I will predict the election results for 2012 for the Texas congressional districts based on the newly-proposed districts. Hypothesis: Similar to the results of the 2004 election, the redistricting effort will result in more wins for Republicans in the Texas Congressional Districts.

Goals and Objectives Goals • Determine the percentage of voters in the current districts that are registered Republican voters. • Determine the Republican Majority in the new districts. • Predict the number of new districts that will elect a Republican to the US House of Representatives. Objectives • Demonstrate how redistricting is being used so that the party currently in power in Texas can remain in power. • Demonstrate how the distinction between redistricting and gerrymandering are often difficult to determine. • Determine if gerrymandering alone is enough to explain the results of the 2012 election. • Demonstrate how decisions such as these made at the state level can have repercussions on a national level.

Background • The Redistricting Process

Background • The Redistricting Process • The Politics of Texas • Battleground Texas • Nate Silver’s Predictions • The Modifiable Area Unit Problem

Background

Background • The Redistricting Process • The Politics of Texas • Battleground Texas • Nate Silver’s Predictions • The Modifiable Area Unit Problem • The Voting Rights Act of 1965

Methods

Data, Variables, Assumptions Data • Districts: gis 1. tlc. state. tx. us/ • Historical Election Data: elections. sos. state. tx. us/elchist. exe Variables • the 2010 number of voters per district • the 2010 political party with which they are registered • the 2010 Congressional election results for Texas • Republican voters • Democratic Voters • the 2012 number of voters per district • the 2012 political party with which they are registered • the 2012 Congressional election results for Texas Assumptions • Voter population is evenly distributed • Voter turnout is evenly distributed • Voter turnout can be used as an indicator of the number of Republicans in a district • Gerrymandering was a key component of the redistricting process • Population growth is reflected in the 2010 election results

Exploring the data Figure 3: 2010 Districts with percentage of Republican Majority.

Exploring the Data Figure 4: Proposed 2012 Texas Congressional Districts superimposed over Republican Majority 2010.

Predicted Results Figure 5: Predicted outcome of the 2012 Texas Congressional election using the proposed districts.

Predicted Results

Actual Results

Actual Results Figure 7: Actual Republican wins.

Actual Results Figure 7: Actual Republican wins. Figure 5: Predicted outcome of the 2012 Texas Congressional election using the proposed districts.

Conclusion Goals • Determine the percentage of voters in the current districts that are registered Republican voters. • Determine the Republican Majority in the new districts. • Predict the number of new districts that will elect a Republican to the US House of Representatives. Objectives • Demonstrate how redistricting is being used so that the party currently in power in Texas can remain in power. • Demonstrate how the distinction between redistricting and gerrymandering are often difficult to determine. • Determine if gerrymandering alone is enough to explain the results of the 2012 election. • Demonstrate how decisions such as these made at the state level can have repercussions on a national level. Future studies should expand this analysis to include demographic data on the population growth and distribution in said districts.

Questions?

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