AP analysis shows how gerrymandering benefited GOP in 2016

This week's Senate health bill likely to change next week

The Associated Press used a new mathematical formula called the "efficiency gap" to measure whether gerrymandering - drawing political districts in ways that favor their own interests - has helped a political party enlarge its power.

The analysis found Republicans won 56 percent of the votes in Ohio's Statehouse races but 66 percent of the seats.

But many Democratic candidates will be facing a stacked deck as Virginia is one of several states where favorably drawn districts have given Republicans a measurable advantage in past elections, an Associated Press analysis shows. The analysis placed Ohio's "efficiency gap" near the top for both state and congressional races.

The state legislature redrew Kentucky's House districts in 2012.

Toscano said opposition to Trump is so strong that it's overcome the reluctance Democratic candidates have had in the past to compete in a district with Republican-friendly boundaries.

Republicans dominate Wyoming politics like no other state without relying on the old political trick of gerrymandering, or adjusting political boundaries to gain an unfair advantage among voters.

The efficiency gap is the subject of a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. A similar analysis in 2014 showed Democrats had a slight advantage in the same districts.

The AP's analysis was based on a version of the "efficiency gap" formula developed by University of Chicago law professor Nick Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, a researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. If Republicans hold onto power in both legislative chambers and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin wins re-election, it would give the party complete control of the redistricting process for the first time.

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"I think it's a balance but again, it's also important to, at least in my mind, respect those boundary lines of the cities, towns and counties and school districts as much as possible", he said.

The state's congressional map was deemed unconstitutional and redrawn by order of federal judges in 2016, but legal challenges to redraw state House districts are tied up in appeals.

Part of the reason may be a political climate of costly, negative campaigns that discourages potential candidates, said Beatty, the House minority leader.

One of the largest Democratic congressional advantages was in Maryland, where Democrats controlled redistricting.

"Party control of redistricting is a powerful driver of the efficiency gap".

A map of congressional districts drawn by Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature helped the GOP win almost three more of the state's U.S. House seats than the party otherwise would have won in last year's election, an Associated Press analysis found.

The national Republican State Leadership Committee, the force behind the party's surge in state legislative elections, attributes its victories to candidates who better represent their communities.

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