Monday, February 02, 2009

The Republican Death Spiral, in Graphic Form

From: FiveThirtyEight.com

To add a little bit of rigor to the point I made this morning, take a look at the following:



This is a diagram of the partisan composition of the 109th and 111th Congresses. The 435 Congressional Districts are arranged from left (most Democratic) to right (most Republican) based on their PVI -- that is, partisan voting patterns in the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Elections.

We see that most of the damage to the Republican Party has come in moderate districts. Not a big surprise really, but -- the numbers are fairly jarring. There are 81 districts with a PVI of between D+3 and R+3: these are your prototypical swing districts. After the 2004 elections, Republicans controlled 54 of these 81 seats and Democrats 27. Following November's elections, however, the ratio had almost exactly reversed itself: 55 Democrats and 26 Republicans.

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