AP analysis indicates Idaho district lines favor Republicans

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In Colorado, Democrats won 57 percent of state House seats in November even though Republicans won 50.4 percent of the statewide vote.

The AP scrutinized the outcomes of about 4,700 state House and Assembly seats up for election past year, using a statistical method of calculating partisan advantage.

Republicans have controlled the Idaho Legislature for almost six decades, but a national Associated Press analysis shows that the state GOP may have gained even more control last fall with the help of Republican-friendly districts.

In a recent case challenging North Carolina's congressional districts, political scientist Simon Jackman suggested that an initial election efficiency gap of at least 7.5 percent in a state with more than 15 U.S. House districts should attract scrutiny.

"There's one answer for that, one word: gerrymander", said Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

But there's a lot people willing to run this year in Virginia, in a possible sign of how a growing anti-Trump wave will lead to greater competition around the country next year. That's more than double the number two years ago. For some candidates - such as Republican Rep. Craig Redmon in northeastern Missouri and Democratic Rep. Gail McCann Beatty in Kansas City - 2016 marked the third straight election in which they were the only choice on the ballot.

Dingell said Republicans should be anxious, despite questions about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"It's called Donald Trump", he said.

"Democrats live in more urban areas, Republicans tend to live in more rural and suburban areas, so we have kind of gerrymandered ourselves outside of the legislative process."

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In 2011, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed two redistricting plans that the Democratic-controlled Legislature sent him.

Other districts - such as Beatty's, where 9 of every 10 voters favor Democrats - are virtually impossible for Republicans to win.

Nevada's four U.S. House districts tilted Democratic, too.

"My initial reaction when I saw it was that it did not favor our approach", said Joe Maxwell, a former Democratic lieutenant governor who had been chairman of the unsuccessful citizens' commission. Chris Jones testified in federal court he tried to accommodate requests from a large majority of delegates, both Republicans and Democrats, who sought to tweak lines, sometimes to draw out precincts where they had historically performed poorly.

Legal efforts by Democrats and others to undo the 2011 boundaries have met with mixed success. The efficiency gap scores show Republicans picked up at least two excess seats each in MI and North Carolina. While it also showed Florida Republicans' advantage in Congress was slightly more than should've been expected, it wasn't to the point that clearly indicated gerrymandering. The formula compares the statewide average share of the vote a party receives in each district with the statewide percentage of seats it wins.

Only five states had a larger "efficiency gap" than New Hampshire.

At the congressional level, Republicans earned 58.6 percent of the vote but won 77.8 percent of seats, more than 10 percent above expectations.

"There is concern around the state about, I don't know if it's so much about gerrymandering, but about disenfranchised voters", he said.

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