Commentary From the Mile High City

"Star of the conservative blogosphere" Denver Post

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
24 (2 entries)
Anglosphere (1 entries)
Biking (1 entries)
Blogging (35 entries)
Business (173 entries)
CFA (3 entries)
China (5 entries)
Climate Change (3 entries)
Colorado (20 entries)
Denver (12 entries)
Design (4 entries)
Economics (39 entries)
Education (6 entries)
Electoral College (1 entries)
Environmentalism (3 entries)
Europe (0 entries)
Flying (2 entries)
Foreign Affairs (1 entries)
General (89 entries)
Gun Control (2 entries)
Health Care (7 entries)
Higher Ed (7 entries)
History (8 entries)
Home Improvement (1 entries)
Illegal Immigration (35 entries)
Internet (4 entries)
Israel (57 entries)
Jewish (49 entries)
Judicial Nominations (12 entries)
Katrina (0 entries)
Literature (1 entries)
Media (37 entries)
Music (3 entries)
Photoblogging (32 entries)
Politics (152 entries)
Porkbusters (5 entries)
Radio (16 entries)
Religion (1 entries)
Reviews (8 entries)
Robed Masters (4 entries)
Science (1 entries)
Sports (9 entries)
Taxes (2 entries)
Transportation (6 entries)
Unions (1 entries)
War on Terror (180 entries)
my other blogs
Three-Letter Monte

Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Best Destiny
Daily Blogster
Geezerville USA
Mount Virtus
Night Twister
Rocky Mountain Right
Slapstick Politics
The New Conservative
Thinking Right
View from a Height

other blogs
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Accidental Verbosity
Assymetrical Information
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Everyone's Illusion
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts

colorado blogs
Pirate Ballerina
Pagan Capitalist
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
Tour the 1939 New York Fair
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

« Well, This is Certainly Frustrating | Main | The Missiles of November »

Progress, Now...More Progress - State House of Reps

So as a numbers guy, I'd be very helpful in redistricting, if, indeed, we ever get a voice in redistricting. Until then, I'll have to satisfy myself with chewing over the results as they are.

A couple of interesting points. Gerrymandering apparently works, although it may have reached the limits of its effectiveness here in Colorado. The Republicans picked up 6 percentage points on the Dems from 2006, going from 55-45 to 52-48 aggregate vote statewide. Yet they picked up only one seat in the voting, going from 39-26 to 38-27. (This will be reported as a two-seat gain, because nominal Republican Debbie Stafford switched parties in the middle of the session, and her safe Republican seat reverted to form on Tuesday.)

Where did the gains come from? Some of it was the increased voter turnout on both sides. A presidential election year is likely to result in more voters, and if the same number of "new" voters shows up on each side, the percentage difference will narrow.

But in this case, the raw difference in votes also narrowed considerably. In 2006, the Democrats won the aggregate vote total 792,600 - 647,355, by 145,245. In 2008, they won 999,377 - 922,627, by 76,750. So the count narrowed by about 70,000 votes, despite unprecedented GOTV efforts on the state Democratic side.

(The newspapers haven't reported the vote totals in the several uncontested districts, so I just guessed based on surrounding districts and assumed a slightly lower turnout. if I'm off, I'm not off by much more than 10,000 votes net, but we'll know in a few weeks as the Secretary of State certifies the results.)

About 41,000 of this can be attributed to the presence of GOP state house candidates in Denver, in districts where none had run in 2006. These were unlikely to result in additional seats, but may have had an effect in GOTV efforts in the statewide totals for other ballot items, such as president, senator, and the various referenda and amendments. All of these numbers are accurate, as by definition, none of the races where Denver Republicans ran in 2008 was uncontested.)

The problem here is that the rising ride only floated a couple of boats. HD-30 and HD-55 changed hands to Republicans, and HD-56 tightened to a point where is might be contested next time, assuming that there's no concerted effort to "educate the idiots" in that district. Let's plan on filing CORA requests on communications between Rep. Scanlan and the Powers that Be on the left early and often.

As for possible pickups next time, there were only 3 seats that were Democrat wins, that also were under 10% difference in vote. All three get better for the Dems, HD-17, HD-27, and HD-38. This was almost certainly strategic on the Democrats' part, and it'll be interesting to see the 527 expenditures in those races. But it means that even if the Republicans manage to close the gap to 50-50 in the vote, they'll still be down 35-30 in the legislature, with some serious changes in at least three other districts. There are five such seats held by Republicans going into the new session.

All of which suggests that while Gerrymandering has worked decisively in the Democrats' favor, its usefulness in extending their gains is probably coming to an end. There just isn't that much more low-hanging fruit to be plucked off by CoDA by shifting voters around.

The bad news is that, barring a major upheaval in the political landscape by 2010, they won't have to.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud