Gerrymandering Causes Huge Drop in Competitiveness of Wisconsin’s State Legislative Elections

Posted by Dan Vicuña on May 5, 2015

Wisconsin’s state legislative races were far less competitive in 2014 than in 2010 due to the gerrymandering of districts for partisan advantage and incumbent protection. A new report from Common Cause Wisconsin found that only 10.3 percent of winning candidates defeated their opponents by less than 10 percent in 2014. The rest of the elections, almost 90 percent, were blowouts of more than 10 points. This was even worse than in 2010, the last election year before current maps were drawn, when more than twice as many races (23.3 percent) were within 10 points.

Common Cause Wisconsin backs SB 58, a bill that would create a far less biased process similar to Iowa’s in which a nonpartisan research arm of the Legislature draws legislative districts before legislators can vote on them.

"Things that are important in Iowa are things like keeping counties together, communities of interest together," said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin. "Decision-makers are not looking at the demographics of Republicans and Democrats, but really communities of interest and making districts that make sense."

See WJFW’s TV news coverage of this report:

Hear Heck make the case for reforming Wisconsin’s broken redistricting system on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause Wisconsin

Issues: Redistricting, Voting and Elections

Tags: Redistricting Reform, Redistricting

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