I have a theory about this


Some time ago before the election, I blogged about how Democrats have to do exceptionally well to pick up seats. Well, aided by the missteps of Bush and his cronies, and also by normal Republicans, the Democrats have exceeded all expectations by capturing both Houses of Congress.

Andrew Gelman has an entry showing a “seats by votes curve”:http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2006/11/seatsvotes_curv.html:

!http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/sv2006_from_2004.png!

This curve essentially shows how hard Democrats have to work to pick up a certain number of seats. For example, if they capture 50% of the vote, they will not get 50% of the seats, even on average, given the current status of our electoral system. In fact, according to the curve, they’ll capture somewhere around 47% or 48% of the seats. As it turns out, they got around 56% of the vote and picked up 53% of the seats.

Basically, this means that districts that vote Democratic tend to be heavily Democratic, while districts that vote Republican tend to be less Republican.

Also see “here”:http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2006/11/the_democrats_i.html.

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