Texas Redistricting 

Spatial Analysis

Steve Henderson


 


2002 Texas Districts by Party Majority 

2002 Districts

The map above shows the 2002 Texas districts.  The voter majority is shown by color, dark blue for districts that voted heavily democratic, and dark red for districts that voted heavily republican.  Lighter shades indicate smaller majorities.  The republican districts appear to be farther away from large cities, wheras the smaller higher density disricts voted more for democrats.  Districts closer to Mexico and Louisiana also favored the democrats.




2004 Texas Districts by Predicted Party Majority

2003 Districts

The map above shows the new 2004 Texas districts.  The districts appear to have been manulipated to concentrate areas with democratic majorities into fewer districts increasing the number of seats that should become republican.




2002 Texas Districts by Predicted Party Majority

2002 Districts

The map above shows the original 2002 Texas districts with the same analysis of the predicted voter outcome as above.  The original districts, while still majority republican, more closely represent the results of the 2002 election.


Analysis

One potential problem with the spatial analysis used to create these maps is the kernal density estimation used to spread the votes out from single points to areas to cover the new districts.  If the area radius used to spread out the votes is too large, small but densely populated discrict votes could overwhelm the actual numbers found in less populated larger districts.   Also, over time, populations move into different areas, changing the makeup of voters in the district.

Non technical probelms include the fact that votes in elections are influenced by issues and individuals that change from election to election.