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What North Carolina’s redistricting cases suggest for 2021 strategy

December 8th, 2019, 10:57pm by Sam Wang


Like many of you, I followed the North Carolina redistricting court cases of the last two months with great attention. I would characterize them as partial successes – but with important lessons for the future. [Read more →]

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Lessons from 2016 and application to 2020

November 24th, 2019, 2:23pm by Sam Wang


For his piece on polling in the New York Times, Giovanni Russonello contacted me with questions about what went wrong in my 2016 analysis. Our starting point: my Election Eve estimate that Hillary Clinton’s Meta-Margin of +1.1% led to a 93% probability.

The simple answer is that I underestimated the minimum uncertainty in state polls, at less than 1.0 percentage point. This was a holdover from the calculation script, which I set up in May 2016 and neglected to revisit.  By the time October rolled around it seemed inappropriate to change it suddenly.

My email to him is reproduced, with slight edits, after the jump. [Read more →]

Comments Off on Lessons from 2016 and application to 2020Tags: 2016 Election · 2020 Election

California Redistricting Comes to Princeton

November 12th, 2019, 4:37pm by Sam Wang


This Thursday, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project is co-hosting a town hall, “Ending Gerrymandering with People-Powered Reforms.” We’ll have feature three members of California’s first independent, citizen-led Redistricting Commission. We’ll meet in McCosh Hall, Room 28, from 4 to 5 PM.

Our co-hosts are New Jersey’s League of Women Voters and Fair Districts NJ. Helen Kioukis of Fair Districts NJ told us: “As we continue advocating for state-level redistricting reform and fair maps for New Jersey residents, we are excited for the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the California Commissioners and encourage public engagement in the redistricting process.”

Over a two-day period, the Commissioners are traveling across New Jersey to discuss the importance of community-centric redistricting reform and share their experiences as ordinary residents selected to draw California’s new district maps. The Princeton town hall is a crucial stop in the California tour.

Comments Off on California Redistricting Comes to PrincetonTags: Princeton · Redistricting

What’s at stake next week in Virginia: Redistricting Reform

October 26th, 2019, 12:41pm by Sam Wang


Virginia was the site of the first gerrymander in 1789. Now, Virginia voters get a chance to help make today’s maps the last gerrymander that the Old Dominion ever sees. Before next week’s elections, ask candidates to support reform. To help, Princeton Gerrymandering Project has a new report.

PGP’s new report describes how gerrymandering can be stopped by an amendment to the state constitution. The next step is for the General Assembly to pass it (for a second time) in January 2020. Then, if voters approve it in November 2020, it would lead to the formation of a Virginia Redistricting Commission that would give citizens a seat at the table for redistricting in 2021 and beyond.

Virginian can weigh in with their legislators to let them know how important reform is. They should also pass enabling legislation to help the commission succeed – by making sure it represents diverse interests in the state and by setting rules that will make sure all communities are treated fairly.

We hope you find this report helpful. Use it to inform your neghbors and legislative candidates!

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Harvard Law School panel on Electoral College

October 19th, 2019, 9:11am by Sam Wang


Great conference today on the Electoral College, hosted by the Harvard Law and Policy Review. An all-star cast – see the schedule! Also livecast here.

My slides are available in PDF format here. Some of my marginal notes here.

→ Post a commentTags: 2008 Election · 2016 Election · 2020 Election · President · U.S. Institutions

Making Every Vote Count: How Would Electoral College Reform Change Campaigns?

October 7th, 2019, 11:12am by Sam Wang


Today I was on a panel with Steve Clemons of The Hill, Amanda Iovino, and Mark Penn on Electoral College reform. Interesting discussion. It was on C-SPAN Radio, and you can watch the full video here on Facebook Live. It may be broadcast on C-SPAN later.

A later panel had some excellent guests: Jesse Wegman of the New York Times, who has a book on Electoral College reform coming out soon; Norm Ornstein; and Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee. And Nellie Gorbea, Secretary of State of Rhode Island, spoke.

In the meantime, here are my slides in PDF format.

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Princeton Gerrymandering Project Brief in Common Cause v Lewis: Evaluating the North Carolina Remedial Maps

September 27th, 2019, 3:29pm by Sam Wang


Today the Princeton Gerrymandering Project filed an amicus brief in which we evaluated the North Carolina General Assembly’s remedial maps. The maps were submitted to the Superior Court as part of the Court’s order to undo a partisan gerrymander of the state Senate and House. I’ve written previously about the House and Senate plans. Our amicus brief goes into more detail, county cluster by county cluster.

The brief is here (and errata to correct a few errors here). We’ll post supporting files from this link once they are cleaned up.

This was a group effort – many thanks to Aaron Barden, Hannah Wheelen, and Hope Johnston on the PGP team. The analytics were a PGP-PlanScore collaboration. Finally, a big shout out of thanks to Press Millen, our counsel in North Carolina!

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On WUNC’s The State Of Things

September 18th, 2019, 1:31pm by Sam Wang


Yesterday I was on WUNC-FM’s The State Of Things to talk about the remaining unfairness in the maps passed by the North Carolina House and Senate. Take a listen! I come on around the 4:15 mark.

Comments Off on On WUNC’s The State Of ThingsTags: 2020 Election · Redistricting

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is hiring – Senior Developer *and* Frontend Part-Time Job

September 16th, 2019, 2:34pm by Hope Johnson


American democracy is changing in ways that we have not seen before in our lifetimes. If you’d like help stop some of the worst offenses, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project has two opportunities for you!

1. We’re hiring an experienced full-stack engineer (job posting here) to help our team build tools to fight gerrymandering.  [Read more →]

Comments Off on The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is hiring – Senior Developer *and* Frontend Part-Time JobTags: Redistricting

Suggestions for a fair redistricting process (contains no partisan data)

September 16th, 2019, 9:41am by Sam Wang


Map by Blake Esselstyn (@districks)Carolina legislators have an unusual task: they are instructed by the Superior Court to undo a partisan gerrymander, but they are not allowed to use partisan voting data. Here are some suggestions for carrying out this task successfully. [Read more →]

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