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Saturday, July 16, 2011
Analysis: Hawaii Democratic Tent not Broad, voter satisfaction can shift quickly
By Selected News Articles @ 12:09 PM :: 6383 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

Legislative District Index sizes up political leanings

by Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press

Matt Breuer, a 19-year-old from Essex Junction (Vermont) fresh off his first year at Yale University, has come up with a way to measure and compare the Democratic or Republican leanings of voters in legislative districts, in Vermont and any other state.

He calls his tool the Legislative District Index. Using results in legislative districts from the past three presidential elections, the two most recent gubernatorial elections and the last legislative election, he predicts margins of victory for Democratic or Republican candidates based on the districts’ political preferences.

“It is interesting information and impressive analysis,” said Morgan Daybell, executive director of the Vermont Progressive Party, although he noted it looked at the divide between only two political parties.

“I thought it was very good,” said Tayt Brooks, executive director of the Vermont Republican Party….

Not surprisingly, Breuer’s Legislative District Index confirms that Vermont is a strongly Democratic state “where everywhere you go, if you have a D next to your name it is an OK thing,” he said. “I see a lot of towns perfectly happy with the way Democrats articulate the issues.”

Given voters’ leanings in Vermont, Breuer said, “If Republicans were serious about taking control, they would consider switching things up and running more moderates.”

Breuer said Vermont Republicans had a hand in drawing the current legislative districts in the state, “but the Democratic party has performed so well in the past decade” in those districts that Democratic leaders in the Legislature have little incentive to make significant changes to the boundaries. The Legislature, dominated by Democrats, will make redistricting decisions next winter in time for the 2012 election.

Hawaii is even more Democratic than Vermont based on the seats held by Democrats in its Legislature, but Breuer said his index found a far narrower range of political preference among Hawaiian voters, meaning the Democratic tent isn’t broad. “There is not a district in Hawaii that is as liberal as Burlington or Brattleboro,” Breuer said.

“What this means for Hawaii Democrats is that voter satisfaction can shift fairly quickly, based on the popularity of those in office,” Breuer wrote in his analysis of the Hawaiian results. Also, if there are Democratic primaries for Hawaiian legislative races, he suggested the fight could become personal because the candidates likely would hold similar views on issues.

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LINK: The Legislative District Index


Hawaii House

2010 Rank District Name HI-DI 2010 Seats 2010  


1 District 13 D+20 D


2 District 1 D+19 D


3 District 3 D+18 D


4 District 5 D+18 D


5 District 12 D+15 D


6 District 2 D+15 D


7 District 8 D+15 D


8 District 14 D+14 D


9 District 9 D+13 D


10 District 22 D+12 D


11 District 4 D+11 D


12 District 15 D+11 D


13 District 24 D+11 D


14 District 20 D+9 D


15 District 16 D+7 D


16 District 21 D+6 D


17 District 34 D+5 D


18 District 26 D+4 D


19 District 30 D+3 D


20 District 29 D+3 D


21 District 35 D+2 D


22 District 25 D+2 D


23 District 10 D+1 D


24 District 23 R+0 D


25 District 48 R+1 D


26 District 7 R+1 D


27 District 11 R+2 R


28 District 31 R+2 D


29 District 44 R+2 D


30 District 36 R+3 D


31 District 28 R+4 D


32 District 39 R+4 D


33 District 33 R+4 D


34 District 51 R+5 D


35 District 41 R+7 D


36 District 49 R+7 D


37 District 27 R+7 R


38 District 45 R+8 D


39 District 18 R+8 D


40 District 37 R+9 D


41 District 42 R+9 D


42 District 19 R+9 R


43 District 6 R+10 D


44 District 40 R+13 D


45 District 32 R+13 R


46 District 46 R+13 R


47 District 47 R+13 D


48 District 38 R+18 D


49 District 17 R+18 R


50 District 50 R+22 R


51 District 43 R+22 R


Hawaii Senate

2010 Rank District Name HI-DI 2010 Seats 2010  


1 Senate District 6 D+18 D


2 Senate District 2 D+15 D


3 Senate District 4 D+14 D


4 Senate District 1 D+13 D


5 Senate District 7 D+10 D


6 Senate District 10 D+9 D


7 Senate District 9 D+4 D


8 Senate District 11 D+4 D


9 Senate District 16 D+1 D


10 Senate District 3 D+0 D


11 Senate District 14 D+0 D


12 Senate District 5 R+0 D


13 Senate District 12 R+0 D


14 Senate District 18 R+1 D


15 Senate District 13 R+2 D


16 Senate District 21 R+5 D


17 Senate District 15 R+6 D


18 Senate District 19 R+9 D


19 Senate District 24 R+9 D


20 Senate District 17 R+10 D


21 Senate District 23 R+10 D


22 Senate District 22 R+12 D


23 Senate District 8 R+12 R


24 Senate District 25 R+13 D


25 Senate District 20 R+17 D

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