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“Jump ball” in North Carolina redistricting

September 11th, 2019, 7:17am by Sam Wang

Redistricting requires tradeoffs, judgments, and compromises. Yesterday in starting their court-ordered remedial map, the North Carolina Senate released its “jump ball.”

In basketball, a jump ball is the moment when play begins. In this case, the jump ball was spun in the Republicans’ favor. But there’s a lot that can still happen ahead.

The North Carolina legislative committees for redistricting are using expert witness Jowei Chen’s randomly generated maps as a starting point for drawing their remedial maps. Yesterday, the Senate committee drew seven of these to create a single starting point.

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project has obtained the shapefiles from reporter Melissa Boughton. They can be found here. (D1 and D2, for Bladen-Brunswick-New Hanover-Pender Counties, are the same.)

One set of counties comes from each map. We still have to combine those shapefiles into a single base map. In the meantime, thanks to Michal Migurski at PlanScore, we can tell you how each of these statewide maps performs, using past state Senate results:

On average, these maps are still biased toward Republicans. They have an Efficiency Gap of R+3.9%, a partisan bias of R+2.5%, and a mean-median diference of R+2.9%.

We’ll have stats on the currently-used map later.

D2: Bladen-Brunswick-New Hanover-Pender Counties

D1 PlanScore (checking why there is a mismatch – we probably need D2 shapefiles)

D3: Alamance-Guilford-Randolph
D3 PlanScore:

D4: Duplin-Harnett-Johnston-Lee-Nash-Sampson

D4 PlanScore:

D39: Buncombe-Henderson-Transylvania

D116: Franklin-Wake

D116 PlanScore:

D298: Davie-Forsyth

D298 PlanScore:

D676: Mecklenburg

D676 PlanScore:

Tags: 2020 Election · Redistricting

4 Comments so far ↓

  • Tom Burst

    So is this the reason the Republicans have not appealed to the state supreme court (NCSC)? If they appealed to NCSC, would any challenges have gone straight back to the NCSC, but now they hope to drag their feet until they can reuse the same districts in 2020 because any review by the state courts would have to proceed through the whole court system? It seems improbable that they suddenly became responsive and contrite.

    • Sam Wang

      My best guess is that they know the NCSC would rule against them, and they don’t want an unfavorable precedent for the next lawsuit. For example, if there’s a lawsuit against the Congressional gerrymander, a precedent could speed that process in time for the 2020 election.

      Another point: this three-judge panel is now the expert panel on redistricting in North Carolina. If the Republicans don’t file an appeal, they will keep this panel busy until the appeal date runs out. By not appealing, they are clogging the system a bit.

  • Hicklenloop

    Thanks for reporting on the new maps. For those of us who are not redistricting experts, could you explain how Jowei Chen randomly generated the remedial maps?

  • Ray J Wallin

    Thanks for posting, and thanks to PlanScore for the data.

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