Redistricting part 7: LSA produces a very fair map

Evan Burger continues his series on redistricting with analysis of the newly released proposed congressional map.

This morning, the Legislative Services Agency released their first set of proposed maps, which can be found here. As expected, the LSA released both congressional and legislative maps — for today I’ll focus on the former, with more analysis to come on the legislative front.

By the numbers

As I’ve written here before, the three standards that the LSA considers in producing a map are contiguity, population equality, and compactness. Of the three, contiguity is an absolute standard: a congressional district must be made up of whole counties that are contiguous. The next most important standard is population equality, meaning the LSA tries to make districts as close in population as possible. However, they must also consider the compactness of a given map, both in terms of minimizing the difference between the length and width of each district, and in terms of minimizing the total perimeter length of all districts.

The LSA’s proposed congressional map easily meets the contiguity requirement. Here is how it scores on population equality and the two measures of compactness:

  • Lowest Population: District 2 (797,556)
  • Highest Population: District 1 (797,655)
  • Difference between lowest and highest population: 99
  • Total Perimeter Score: 2,772.02 miles
  • Average Length-Width Compactness: 34.96 miles

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Miller-Meeks spreads COVID-19 misinformation, again

“If true, this is insane,” U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks tweeted while sharing an article headlined, “Biden Orders VA To Withhold Health Benefits From Unvaccinated Veterans.”

The article wasn’t true. The website that published it even has a disclaimer: “All stories herein are parodies (satire, fiction, fake, not real) of people and/or actual events.”

Most politicians would delete the tweet and apologize, or (if they were cowards) blame the mistake on a staffer.

Miller-Meeks won’t take the tweet down. It’s not the first time the Republican from Iowa’s second district has refused to retract false information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Interview: Christina Bohannan on running for Congress in IA-02

State Representative Christina Bohannan confirmed on August 24 that she’s running for Congress in Iowa’s second district. She’s the first declared Democratic candidate for the seat, where Republican U.S. Representative Miller-Meeks was certified the winner in 2020 by six votes out of nearly 400,000 cast.

Last year’s campaign in IA-02 was Iowa’s most expensive U.S. House race, with the candidates spending nearly $6 million and outside groups putting in more than $15.5 million over the cycle. Both parties are expected to target the district next year, and Miller-Meeks’ campaign had more than $1.1 million cash on hand as of June 30.

Speaking by phone a few hours after her campaign became official, Bohannan told Bleeding Heartland, “I’m having way more fun than I think you’re supposed to when you’re running for Congress.” She said she’s enjoyed the conversations she’s had today and is feeling “really good” about her early fundraising.

I had more questions for the new candidate.

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Redistricting scenarios part 6: Possible districts, revisited

Evan Burger continues his series on redistricting with analysis of some of the reddest and bluest possible Congressional districts.

On August 12, the Census Bureau released the “PL 94-171 Redistricting Data File” – the official population counts of every precinct, city, county, and state in the country, as of April 1, 2020.

As I wrote last weekend, Iowa’s redistricting process can now start in earnest – and members of the public can get a clearer view of what districts are possible. For today, I’ll focus on the implications for Iowa’s Congressional maps. Future articles will contain similar analysis at the legislative level.

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Iowa redistricting predictions, part 5: Data almost here!

Evan Burger continues his series of posts on Iowa redistricting scenarios.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced some exciting news: they will release the next round of redistricting data this Thursday, August 12, four days earlier than promised. 

At long last, Iowa will have the population counts needed to start drawing new district lines – and just in time, considering that the Iowa Constitution requires the legislature to finish redistricting by September 15. 

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