By Jim Ellis
Feb. 4, 2019 — As more final voting data becomes available about the 2018 electoral patterns, new local analysis articles are being distributed that allow us to better understand why the results unfolded as they did.
Emily Previti published a piece for Pennsylvania’s Keystone Crossroads media site at the end of last week that details just how the congressional outcome might have changed if the state Supreme Court had not altered the Pennsylvania federal map.
The Pennsylvania high court ruled about a year before the last election that the 2011 redistricting legislative package was a political gerrymander in relation to the state’s constitution. The court then instituted new boundaries for the 2018 and 2020 elections, designed to bridge the gap until the next census, reapportionment, and redistricting processes begin again.
The court majority reasoned that the previous congressional map routinely yielding a 13R-5D congressional result was out of sync with a statewide electorate that usually favors Democrats, among other reasons. Yet, according to the Previti article, such may not have been the case.
After overlaying the new court-imposed 18-district congressional map (above) that returned a 9R-9D result from the previous 12R-6D delegation split (the division changed when Democrat Conor Lamb won an early 2018 special election in a previously Republican 18th CD), Previti concludes that the same 9-9 split we see today may well have occurred even under the previous map.