Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Many Analysts, All of Them Wrong

A number of us opined about what happened in NC in the election.

But I don't buy the explanation given by my colleagues. The fact is that 7 out of 8 incumbent Dems at the US House level won their races. But there was huge turnover in the state house and senate races, AND Richard Burr won reelection by a country mile.

So how do you get an explanation that says national swing, huge Republican tide, corrupt state legislature....except for pretty much all the Democratic members of Congress won, most of them by 5% or more.

Doesn't make sense. I think my colleagues should just admit they have no freakin' clue, which is what I did. Because my ego strong, like bull, can admit when wrong, predict better next time, that sort of thing...

6 comments:

Dirty Davey said...

It's all about the districting.

Democratic House candidates in North Carolina taken together took 45% of the total vote and won 54% of the seats.

Given that districting played such a large role and that a Republican-controlled legislature will re-draw the lines before 2012, I suspect that the next election will be a bloodbath for the House Democrats in NC.

John Thacker said...

Gerrymandering, exactly.

All the GOP incumbents won 66%+ of the vote. Meanwhile, the Dem incumbents won 48%, 53% (Kissell), 54% (Shuler), 54% (McIntyre), 55% (Miller), 57% (Price), 59% (Butterfield), and 64% (Watt).

Even the lowest rated GOP incumbent got a higher percentage than Mel Watt did in his specially crafted connect-the-inner-cities black plurality district.

John Thacker said...

As the first commenter says, in total NC GOP Congressional candidates won 54% of the vote, about the same as what Burr won. That they won a minority of the districts is entirely due to how the lines are drawn.

Simon Spero said...

I'd really like to see the precinct by precinct results when they're finalized, especially if they're keyed to census blocks. There's got to be a visualization paper in there especially if there was sufficient contemporary evidence to so serious counter-factuals on what districts would look like if IHOPs didn't have restrooms.

I wonder if NCICL has papers underway on what redistricting should look like? I re-read Stephenson I, and it's pretty clear that Justice Orr was not impressed by the single member constituency requirement that the majority opinion discovered. I'd forgotten that Art Pope was one of the named plaintiffs- I don't know if he expressed a view on this part of the case at the time. I'm also not sure if Roy Cooper argued against this requirement - he was a named defendant but I haven't looked at all the filings.

NCICL has been getting a bit of practice on Election law lately, so they'll probably be at least amicae in the inevitable federal case.

I wonder if there's enough interest to try and set up a showing of "Gerrymandering", the movie, with a discussion panel afterwards, either out of Chapel Hill or Duke? I'm trying to find out the cost and see if the UNC Ds, Rs and Ls would be up for sponsoring it.
( Green Films - http://gerrymanderingmovie.com/ )

Worth a shot?

agnes said...

In NC, you know as well as anybody that there is a culture of corruption within the halls of the Legislature. Tony Rand and Marc Basknight brought all these people up under their wings...who are all either in prison, getting out of prison, or now under Federal Grand Jury investigation. I think part of what happened is that people started talking to one another. There has been an entire network built up across the state over the past 4 years, where people are now empowered and active. That is a good thing.
Anyone who still thinks this is about D v R still doesn't get it. There is a disconnect between those who are elected and the people who put them there. For historical perspective on D/R majority, NC legislature was being seated by troops right after the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was still warm in his grave. Alabama-136 years since the last R shift.
This was a repudiation of the system ignoring the People. The republicans have been granted a very short leash and probation. This isn’t 1994, its 1774. A certain Chinese curse/blessing comes to mind…
Thanks
-Agnes

John Thacker said...

For historical perspective on D/R majority, NC legislature was being seated by troops right after the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was still warm in his grave.

Not quite true if you count the Republican-People's Party (Populist) coalition in the 1890s. They even elected two Senators and a bunch of Congressional Representatives, including a black Representative.

It was only after that that the Democrats ran on a real White Supremacy platform (run by Daniels of the N&O, naturally) and changed the NC Constitution to prevent that from happening again.