Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Election Data Show GOP Indianapolis Council Electoral Advantage Has Shrank from 15-10 to 13-12

I had some time to look at analyze the 2014 Marion County election results with respect to the Indianapolis Council District Maps drawn by local GOP operative David Brooks.  The results are interesting.

First some background. When Brooks redid the districts following the most recent census, he used 2010 election results to design districts that were expected to provide a 15-10 Republican majority in the districts, a majority that was large enough to withstand the expected win by the Democrats of the four at-large seats a virtual inevitability because of that party's dominance of the county as a whole.  Of course, since Brooks drew the map, the Republican-dominated Indiana General Assembly eliminated the four at large seats, which following the 2015 election will reduce that body from 29 to 25 members.

Some additional notes.  The 2010 and 2014 elections most closely resemble the turnout one would expect in the municipal elections. Republicans generally do a lot better in Marion County with lower turnout.  2014 is a superior race to use than 2010 simply because it is newer.  The 2010 and 2014 elections, however, are a bit of an aberration in that they were excellent Republican years.  So one can expect the results are skewed somewhat more favorable to the GOP than they would be in a more normal election.

I used the Marion County Auditor's race, a low-profile, straight head-to-head contest (no pesky Libertarians messing up my numbers) between a Republican and Democrat to create a 2014 GOP baseline in the 25 districts.  The results tracked closely the 2010 results, with the Republican advantage sharply bouncing back in the council districts after a much less favorable 2012 presidential election years.  However, two council districts projected to be Republican using 2010 numbers, remained underwater in 2014.  District 2 located declined from 51.98% in 2010 to 49.78% in 2014.  Also, District 16, a south Center Township district which edges into Perry and Wayne Townships also flipped. Brooks had the district baseline of 51.55% using 2010 numbers, but the baseline dropped to 49.13% this year.

The worst part of the numbers is that the GOP will be defending scores of districts.  The Democrats have strong majorities in 10 districts, i.e. not a single one of which has less than a 59% Democratic baseline.  Republicans meanwhile only have five districts with a 59% or more Republican baseline. Of the other 10 districts drawn by Brooks to be Republican, here are the baselines.

District 2   49.78%
District 4   57.01%
District 3   53.95%
District 5   55.08%
District 6   55.15%
District 15  55.02
District 16  49.13%
District 19  52.5%
District 21  50.75%
District 22  54.78%

Translation:  If the Democrats improve turnout, they not only could have a majority on the council, the Democrats could have a supermajority.

I'm sorry I don't have information on where the councilors live and how these numbers will affect those councilors and the candidates who might oppose them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would the last person walking out of the Marion County Republican Party please turn off the lights?