Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It Isn't "The State of the Union," But Rather "The State of the Divide"

by Michael Bitzer

Based on last night's performance of the State of the Union, I have to think that there is a real possibility we have seen the last televised State of the Union (SOTU) before a joint session of Congress when the House of Representatives is controlled by the party opposite the White House.

In other words: another norm broken.

First, some historical & constitutional perspectives about States of the Union.

Article II, Section 3, Clause 3 states “He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...

This is the constitutional foundation of the SOTU. Notice there's nothing said about how the "Information on the State of the Union" shall be given. And it's "from time to time"--nothing constitutionally specific there either. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Analysis of North Carolina State Senate Districts

by Michael Bitzer

In a previous post, I looked at the North Carolina State House of Representatives and the numbers within the new districts, based on a recent redistricting. This post looks at the numbers for the state senate and its districts, utilizing the classification approach and data. 

As a reminder: the classification approach that I take is based on a district's their partisan behavior, meaning the categories use a combination of factors: 

  • presidential results within the district; 
  • voter registration percentages (party registration and racial demographics) from the January 11, 2020 registration file from the North Carolina State Board of Elections; and,
  • the district's 'regionalism,' namely the percentage of registered voters in center cities (urban counties), outside of the center city but still inside an urban county, a surrounding suburban county, or a rural county.

As I showed in the previous post, the relationship between Donald Trump's 2016 vote performance in a district matches up very closely to the Republican candidate's vote performance in the 2018 election: