‘Fair’ Districts in the US House, or the lack thereof

This is a quick1 little demonstration I made for my POLS 206 class to demonstrate how single member districts in the House of Representatives can cause weird stuff to happen. The map shows the composition of the House delegation from each state. House delegations from red states are mostly Republican, those from blue states are mostly Democratic, and those from purple states are split in some way.

What I want to demonstrate to my class is the difference between the composition of a state’s House delegation and the popular vote for members of the House in that state. In Maine, for example, two out of two Representatives are Democrats, but 38% of the state’s voters voted for a Republican representative. If you believe that a ‘fair’ House delegation is one in which the number of Rs and Ds reflect the split between Rs and Ds in the state’s voters, then Maine should have 1 Republican rep and 1 Democratic rep (0.38*2=0.76, rounds to 1 Republican). When you mouse over a state, the state will change color to reflect the House delegation split that would most accurately mirror the popular vote split. Both these numbers are shown in the upper right corner of the map.

Partisan Composition of State House Delegations

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  1. It should have taken like an hour but CSS.