Better Know the Districts
The State of Gerrymandering
Are your views represented fairly in Congress?
Gerrymandering is the practice of carving up a state into strategically designed districts to create an electoral advantage for a particular political party.
Explore how gerrymandering affects the House of Representatives in the graphics below.
Read our blogpost for an in-depth analysis of the situation.
2014 election data
2010 redistricting cycle
Click on the map to zoom
House of Representatives
This project began when we wanted to know more about the use of gerrymandering in the United States. Our interest and subsequent exploration seems timely given the amount coverage gerrymandering has received in the news recently—this is clearly an important issue that many people are concerned about, and that many more people should be made aware of.
After researching, we took a quantitative approach. We collected, visualized, and analyzed publicly available datasets to test our hypotheses about how political parties are able to gain what looks like an unfair advantage in Congress, given the voter demographics of some states.
Is gerrymandering an issue for our congressional districts? Do you feel that your congressperson represents your views?
Metric of how tightly the area of a shape is packed into its boundary. Less compact is more squiggly. The most compact possible shape is a perfect circle.
Proportion of votes for Democratic or Republican candidates.
The Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) measures how strongly a district leans towards the Democratic or Republican party compared to the nation as a whole.
CFscore (Campaign Finance score) from the Database on Ideology, Money in Politics, and Elections (DIME), a score on a liberal to conservative spectrum based on the ideological stance of financial contributors to a representative’s campaign.
Shapefiles from the US Census were used for calculating compactness.
2012 popular vote data collected from The Green Papers.
2014 popular vote data collected from this spreadsheet linked on the Wikipedia page for the 2014 House of Representatives elections.
Information about redistricting control was collected from Professor Justin Levitt’s page on redistricting.
Data from Cook Political’s reports measued the Partisan Voting Index.
Blending both industrial and academic research, Tatsiana is an expert at solving hard business problems. She brings a background in both mathematics and statistics, and has deep experience researching and implementing models for predicting user behavior.
With a background in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Matt has extensive experience in hypothesis testing and the analysis of complex datasets. He is excited about using predictive models and other statistical methods to solve real-world problems.
Excited about data visualization and design, Susie is experienced as a front end developer and has spent recent years researching data visualization. She draws from her degrees in art and engineering to bring a well-rounded perspective to data science.
With over 15 years in advanced analytical applications and architecture, John is dedicated to helping organizations become more data-driven. He combines deep expertise in analytics and data science with business acumen and dynamic engineering leadership.