Idaho district lines favor Republicans

Experts interviewed by the Associated Press acknowledged those factors, but the new analysis shows partisan gerrymandering also likely plays a significant role.

An Associated Press analysis of U.S. House and state house and assembly seats indicates that politically gerrymandering has helped tilt power to Republicans nationally.

Republicans won an average of 67 percent of the vote in Utah's House districts a year ago but won all four of Utah's U.S. House seats, giving the GOP almost one seat beyond what would be projected in a votes-to-seats ratio.

Traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Virginia were among those with significant Republican advantages in their US or state House races.

That figure is up significantly since the last round of redistricting after the 2010 census. In Florida, Republicans had about 11 more seats in the state House than what would be expected statistically.

Roughly 20 percent of seats up for election had just one major party candidate - seven for Republicans and six for Democrats. But the efficiency gap, she says, uses "data to make sure the districts are within a normal range of fairness".

The analysis is based on an "efficiency gap" formula developed by University of Chicago law professor Nick Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, a researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

No one appealed the court's district lines.

MI provides a good example of how the formula works.

Other districts - such as Beatty's, where 9 of every 10 voters favor Democrats - are virtually impossible for Republicans to win.

An attorney leading one of the challenges against North Carolina's congressional map, Anita Earls, described the efficiency gap in an interview as "an easily applied and really easily understood measure for how much partisanship is too much".

Republicans control both legislative chambers and hold all statewide offices. He blamed Democrats for their own losses.

Had AP analyzed the Republican-controlled 2015 Nevada Legislature, Sheets said, "my guess is they'd come up with an entirely different answer, and that's the problem with formulas".

Republicans on average won 64 percent of the votes in each district, but they won 83 percent of all state House seats.

At least two-thirds of the commissioners must vote to approve a map. Some of the proposed shifts sought to move heavily black precincts - where voters overwhelmingly support Democrats - from Republican-held districts into ones occupied by Democrats.

The AP also calculated efficiency gap scores for U.S. House elections, translating those into estimates of extra seats won because of partisan advantages.

The formula essentially measures and compares each party's wasted votes-those going to the victor in excess of what's needed for victory-in an election and shows that Virginia's GOP votes are more efficiently spread out than Democratic votes. A similar analysis in 2014 showed Democrats had a slight advantage in the same districts.

For Democrats to complain of gerrymandering is "pure nonsense", said Matt Walter, the Republican committee's president.

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