By Jake Brown
Anyone looking for proof that Arizona’s districts are gerrymandered need to look no further than this month’s election results. Republicans were incensed months ago that AIRC created districts helping the Democrats. Of course Democrats tried to argue that they were fair, but numbers don’t lie.
In Arizona a total of 2,015,330 votes were cast for either a Republican or a Democrat in the congressional races (CD07 did not have a Republican congressional candidate, so not including the Libertarian- the non-Democratic vote- helps the overall Democratic totals, but for simplicity we will only look at Ds and Rs). Of those votes, 1,102,513 were cast for a Republican and 912,817 were cast for a Democrat. Republicans received approximately 200,000 more votes than Democrats (189,696). That means that Republicans received 55% of the two party vote total.
So what does that mean? It means that if we were to completely randomly select voters to be in 9 districts across Arizona, we would have 9 Republican representing us. Yep, with 55 percent of over 2,000,000 people voting Republican there is an 83% chance that every single representative would be Republican if we randomly put voters in districts. Instead we have 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans. It means that a Republican vote in Arizona is worth less than a Democratic one because of how the districts are created.
Of course, we wouldn’t randomly put voters together because that would mean that we would have voters from Tempe, Tolleson, Tucson, and Tuba City all in the same district. However, even if you created 4 Democrat districts and 4 Republican districts, the chances of accidently creating a majority democratic delegation are less than 2%. There is almost a 99% chance that we would have 5 Republicans. The chance of having more Democrats than Republicans is outside what we would generally consider within the margin of error. The point? Having 5 Democrats representing Arizona would not occur by accident unless you were specifically creating the districts to make that outcome a possibility.
Soooooo, it means that in Arizona we are not being represented in Congress by people who believe like we do. We have allowed an unaccountable organization to decide that some amorphous idea like “competitive districts” is more important than having representatives that actually represent us. The Arizona “Independent” Redistricting Commission- gerrymandering at its worst.
For anyone that wants to see the raw numbers used (these were current as of Friday Nov. 16th) :
|District||Republican||Democrat||3rd Party||Percent R|
*there were other third party candidates, but I only put in 4rd party votes for CD07 because there was no Republican candidate