NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to our terms.

Do Something

Know Your District

After you get to know the breakdown of the new maps, get to know who’s running, what district they’re running in, and who will be on your ballot this May from this list at philly.com.

Here are the candidates for District 1:

Candidates:

  • Steven Adam Bacher (D)
  • U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)
  • Dean Malik (R)
  • Rachel Reddick (D)
  • Scott Wallace (D)

Connect WITH OUR SOCIAL ACTION TEAM



Video

Gerrymandering Explained

Watched The Washington Post’s easy explanation of what gerrymandering is:

Redistricting Deconstructed: What is the 1st District?

With the state's new districts set to take effect in time for the May primary, a demographer breaks down what they really look like

With the state's new districts set to take effect in time for the May primary, a demographer breaks down what they really look like

Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court made a unanimous decision to reject state Republicans’ efforts to block the new Pennsylvania congressional district map from going into effect for the upcoming May primary. That means Philadelphians should start getting to know the new map—and its implications—before heading to the polls this spring.

THIS ARTICLE IS PART OF A CONTENT PARTNERSHIP WITH:

Using data from the Open Elections Project, I’m profiling each of the region’s new Congressional Districts, exploring who the residents are demographically, and how they voted in past elections. (For more information on methodology, see the note at the bottom of this piece.)

Learn everything you need to know about District 1 below. Read about District 2District 3District and District 5.

About District 1: District 01 mostly aligns with Bucks County, to the Northeast and North of the city. To accomodate the equal population requirement, it adds on Montgomeryville and Hatfield in Montgomery County.

The Incumbent: Bob Brady (D)

How it Leans: The district is the most evenly split in the Philadelphia region. It voted narrowly for Clinton in 2016, by a slim 50.7 – 49.3 margin. This was gap was two percentage points more Democratic than the state as a whole, though the District was 5.5 point *less* Democratic than the state in 2014.

Bucks County provides the prime example of a suburban swing district, with traditional Republicans who swung against Trump. (Of course, the swing did not include all Republican voters by any means, but in this district a few percentage points matters.)

The district is predominantly White, and there is not a single State House District within it that is not at least a plurality White. Within that White population, there are demographic differences. The region immediately outside of Philadelphia looks a lot like an extension of the Northeast: it is the densest part of the County, and less wealthy than the County’s center, around Doylestown. The lowest five statehouse districts, including Newtown, Churchville, and everything below, constitutes a whopping 46% of the population.

That 46% of the population turns out at lower rates than the rest of the District, and only represents 42% of the votes. But in a district so evely divided, subtle swings in any region with 42% of the vote (and especially a turnout increase, which is plausible in district with such low baseline turnout) can determine the election.

Despite the low turnout South of the district, the District as a whole votes at much higher rates than the state. Measured as votes per population over 18, the district voted at a rate nine percentage points more than the state in 2016, and six points more in 2014, the last race for Governor.

The 2016 Democratic Primary illustrates some interesting splits.  Consider the wealthy region around Newtown and Lambertville. It has very high turnout, and was evenly split between Clinton and Trump. However, voters there *strongly* supported Clinton over Sanders. In other districts, we’ve seen a correlation between support for Sanders and support for Trump, which I’ve interpreted as an anti-establishment (or anti-Clinton, depending on your reading) sentiment. However, these wealthy voters appear to be legitimate centrists: with a slight overall Republican lean, who voted against Sanders, while also swinging slightly against Trump.

Below are the racial splits for the District, though they deserve a strong word of caution. The calculation below assigns races the weighted average of the vote in the State House districts that residents live in. In a District so heavily White, the Black, Hispanic, and Asian residents will still live in a predominantly White district, so the differences between races presented will be understated.

This wraps up the Philadelphia District Profiles. The redistricting removed the gerrymandering that was fabricating Republican Districts out of a broadly Democratic region. The result is that every one of the five compact districts in the region would have voted for Clinton in 2016, ranging from narrow victories (today’s CD 01) to the Democratic strongholds in the state (CDs 02, 03). While the state as a whole still represents a disproportionate Republican overrepresentation–Republicans would have won 56% of these districts in 2016, when they won only 50% of the vote–they are dramatically closer to matching the popular vote.

A note about methodology: 

I use data from the Open Elections Project (www.openelections.net). I aggregate their results to the State House boundaries, which are provided by the Census and which I accessed using the tidycensus package. When one of the new districts cuts a State House district into pieces, I apportion the votes to that district by calculating the 2010 population of the overlapping area, and distribute a State House District’s votes proportionately. This is equivalent to assuming that all voters in a State House District vote similarly, which is not a bad assumption when the State House Districts are much smaller than the Congressional Districts.

The racial tables show the average vote of the districts in which residents of that race live. This is not the same as knowing that residents of that race voted that way. If 500 residents of a State House District are Asian, and that district voted 60 percent for Clinton, 40 percent for Trump, I assume that those residents voted 60-40 for Clinton. This would not be true if within districts, racial groups vote systematically differently. This assumption works best when (a) the State House Districts are small relative to the Congressional Districts and (b) a racial group is well represented. When a racial group only has low representation, this will make the differences between the groups seem smaller than they actually are.

Jonathan Tannen is an urban demographer who operates the blog sixty-six wards, where this analysis originally appeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo via Flickr

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil posts. We want to be a communal space. But that doesn’t mean you have a First Amendment right to be an idiot. Send us an insulting, offensive and/or wildly off-topic comment and not only will we refrain from posting it -- we will laugh at you before we hit delete.

Recent Tweets
@THEPHILACITIZEN

@thephilacitizen @@thephilacitizen
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Mayors are not educators; they set the stage for educators." Read more from @roxanneshep on gauging the efficacy o… https://t.co/pjMAULlVIe 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Join us this Tuesday for our solutions open mic and help create a better #Philly. Click the link to register or fol… https://t.co/MprYF14nXW 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
@Politicabbie Thank you for reading. @RichNegrin did a remarkable job with this. 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Saving Dad—In an emotional personal memoir, a former city official and gun violence survivor explores the collatera… https://t.co/29zM4XQi5w 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Barwin says he knows the ball fields will draw folks from all over the city, to play and watch. But he’s most exci… https://t.co/UklzrwQzcQ 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Read the deeply personal memoir from gun violence survivor Rich Negrin and click the #DoSomething link to review hi… https://t.co/4QJ7T62gDx 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
.@BrokeinPhilly launched this week with 19 media outlets committed to shedding light and finding solutions to the c… https://t.co/bijSLSkRXT 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
We watched this week's City Council meeting...so you don't have to. Here's what you missed. #PHLCouncilhttps://t.co/1sljd8dLss 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Looking back at the Eagles—it is obvious to me why Jason Kelce’s speech struck a chord." Rev. Bill Golderer on Sup… https://t.co/jyluMiXPiw 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"In the movies, when people are shot there are those neat red circles of bright red blood. That’s not the way it is… https://t.co/eLze9C6phj 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
@Kttwofour @Golderer Thank you for reading! We loved this idea as well. Nobody should be trapped in a cycle of pove… https://t.co/QTT2I8ed4W 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Sign up for our newsletter and never miss a story! Saving Dad - https://t.co/X4Gnzvhw4m 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Join former Eagle Connor Barwin as he unveils the $3.2 million renovations to the South Philly park his foundation… https://t.co/ZycFk37kRw 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Read former city official and gun violence survivor Rich Negrin's personal and stirring memoir on the lasting effe… https://t.co/sHZjsyvpBy 

LOAD MORE

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story