Friday, March 4, 2011

Why the MSGOP's "science" is bad

As noted earlier, the MSGOP is now trying to convince folks that the House plan is more gerrymandered than the current map.  And in trying to do that, they're saying it's been "scientifically proven."  Well, it's bad science.

It's bad science and misleading because the Reock test they claim to have used is only one of many methods to determine whether or not districts are compact (and therefore not gerrymandered).  There's also the area/convex hull test, the Polsby-Popper test, and the Schwartzberg test, just to name a few.  And of course, the answer you get depends on the test you choose.  If you don't believe me, go check out the comparison of the different methods at  Click on the "State Lower" tab, and you'll see that Rep. Brandon Jones (D-Pascagoula) has the least compact legislative district in the nation according to the area/convex hull test, but it's not even in the top 10 under other methods.  And Reock's least compact district?  The rather straightforward north-south District 5 in the Illinois House.  Why does it go north-south like it does?  Simple: Because it runs along Michigan Avenue.

The bottom line is that the "scientific" tests aren't very scientific at all.

No comments: