In a guest column in last Sunday's newspaper, "Oppose Iowa model for maps," Sen. Mary Lazich argued against the creation of a nonpartisan body to guide redistricting in Wisconsin.

But her claims are not supported even by the numbers she cites. She stated nonpartisan redistricting will not generate a more competitive electoral environment, pointing out this approach in Iowa resulted in 17 of 100 elections within 5 percentage points in the most recent election, while the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported 15 of the 99 Wisconsin Assembly races as competitive.

But this is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Using the standard of races where the winner and loser were separated by 5 percentage points or less, Wisconsin had only 11 competitive races, compared to Iowa's 17.

If we use the standard of the number of races where both candidates were within 5 percent of 50 percent, Wisconsin does indeed have 15 competitive races -- but Iowa has 26.

The numbers are therefore the opposite of what Sen. Lazich claimed, and consistent with the idea that the Iowa model will aid competitiveness in Wisconsin.

-- Logan Vidal and Barry Burden, Department of Political Science, UW-Madison

You might also like

(3) comments

Lorem Ipsum
Lorem Ipsum

So let us fly with Mary Lazich

Logan and Barry - The goal of Districts is not to create competitive races. It is to properly and fairly divide up the state to create groups/areas to provide representation for the citizens. Period. So if people in a certain area have similar demographics, interests, needs etc. they should be in the same district. If that group then decides to vote 70% for one party ( no matter which party it is) and that suits their needs that is fine.

bookman21
bookman21

Ad astra per alas porci!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Exchange ideas and opinions on posted articles. Don't promote products or services, impersonate other site users, register multiple accounts, threaten or harass others, post vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language. Don't post content that defames or degrades anyone. Don't repost copyrighted material; link to it. In other words, stick to the topic and play nice. Report abuses by clicking the button. Users who break the rules will be banned from commenting. We no longer issue warnings. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.