Writing Archive

A Better Use for the Murtha Airport Funds

The Washington Post reported recently that Rep. John Murtha has diverted millions in federal funds in recent years to a local airport in his district… aptly named John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport. He’s even earmarked over $800,000 in federal stimulus money to repave a runway that gets only three commercial flights each day, all [...]

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Cooking Up a New Political Map

Charlie Cook and his House editor Dave Wasserman released their Partisan Voting Index (PVI) charts for congressional districts last week, and their findings show that our nation is indeed getting more polarized. Cook found that in the 1990’s, “there were 67 districts that most closely mirrored the nation as a whole.” In the most recent [...]

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House Committees to Target Split District

If Republicans hope to cut into Democrats’ margins in the House in 2010, a good place to start will be the 49 districts that voted for both a Democratic House candidate and John McCain. As you might expect, many of these districts are in the South, Appalachia, rural Midwest and Mountain West. Many are represented [...]

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Collapse of the Empire State

New York’s presence once loomed so large over America that it crowned itself the Empire State. Today, New York has fallen behind California and Texas in population and is in danger of dropping behind Florida. As its influence ebbs, the Empire State is losing electoral clout as an unprecedented rate.
According to Census Bureau estimates [...]

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Do Democrats Still Have Room for Growth in the Northeast?

CQ Weekly suspects that the Northeast could still be “fertile ground” for Democrats.

The Northeast, which has long stood out as the nation’s least conservative region, produced the biggest bonanza for the Democrats in their surge to a House majority last year: 11 of the 30 seats the party took from the GOP were in the [...]

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Hanging Chads 11.21.07

I’m off for Thanksgiving to Kane County, Ill., which is Chicago’s version of our Loudoun County in Virginia.  For those of you who don’t know Loudoun, it’s a county where subdivisions and strip malls have quickly replaced farmland in the last 15 years.
Kane is also the easternmost county in retiring former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s 14th [...]

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The 2008 House Electoral Map

The SideTrack reminds us that CQ has released its 2008 House landscape maps. As an alumni of National Journal, the Electoral Map won’t give CQ too much praise, but these are damn fine maps.
And if you’re looking for a great resource to supplement these maps and tell the story behind each district, the absolutely [...]

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Mapping Out Ridiculous Congressional Legislation

It’s that time of year again. Ninety-five percent of Congress puts in for earmarks, Ted Stevens and John Murtha request something absurd and John McCain gets a guy to dress up like a pig at the anti-pork press conference. It’s a time honored Washington tradition.
This year, most of the news has to do [...]

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Is Colorado the New Delaware? The New Missouri?

They used to say that so goes Delaware goes the nation. Well, I’ve never heard that exact saying, but the First State voted for the winning presidential candidate from 1952 to 1996.
It was always a swing state because Delaware, despite what Wayne and Garth said, had a little something of everything — a Northeastern-style [...]

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Slicin’ and Dicin’

In a Wall Street Journal column today, John Fund lays out his argument against gerrymandering:
“Gerrymandering — the drawing of district lines to favor a particular party, or incumbents in general — allows lawmakers to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. Almost all incumbents routinely win re-election and form a political [...]

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