Cook Partisan Voting Index

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Map by state (After the 2012 election)

The Cook Partisan Voting Index (Cook PVI) is a measurement of how strongly a United States congressional district leans toward the Democratic or Republican Party, compared to the nation as a whole. The Cook Political Report introduced the PVI in August 1997 to better gauge the competitiveness of each district using the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections as a baseline.1 The index is based on analysis by the Center for Voting and Democracy (now FairVote) for its July 1997 Monopoly Politics report.2

Calculation

PVIs are calculated by comparing the district's average Democratic (or Republican) Party's share of the two-party presidential vote in the past two presidential elections to the nation's average share of the same. The national average for 2004 and 2008 was 51.2% Democratic to 48.8% Republican.1 For example, in Alaska's at-large congressional district, the Republican candidate won 63% and 61% of the two-party share in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, respectively. Comparing the average of these two results (62%) against the average national share (49%), this district has voted 13 percentage points more Republican than the country as a whole, or R+13.

Prior to its April 2009 update, the PVI formula was calculated by comparing district-level results for the past two presidential elections to nationwide results for the most recent election. David Nir of the Swing State Project advocated a change to the new formula, and Charlie Cook agreed, wanting an "apples to apples" comparison.3

Format

The Cook PVI is formatted as a letter, plus sign, and number:

  • Letter: The major party, Democratic (D) or Republican (R), to which the district leans
  • Number: The extent of that lean, in rounded percentage points

For districts without a lean, the index written as "EVEN" without a number.

List of PVIs

Extremes

The most Democratic congressional district in the country is New York's 15th, located in the Bronx, at D+43. The most Republican district is Texas's 13th with a PVI of R+32. As for states as a whole, Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican at R+22, and Hawaii is the most Democratic at D+20.

The most Republican congressional district to be represented by a Democrat is Utah's 4th, which has a PVI of R+16. The district is represented by Jim Matheson. The most Democratic congressional district to be represented by a Republican is California's 31st, which has a PVI of D+5. The district is represented by Gary Miller.

As a result of the 2012 elections, there are five Democratic-leaning House districts represented by Republicans (down from 18 before the election) and 15 Republican-leaning House districts represented by Democrats (down from 17 before the election). This represents a total of 20 out of 435 Representatives from districts with a PVI opposite to their own party.

In the Senate, the most Republican-leaning state to have a Democratic senator is Arkansas, with Democrat Mark Pryor. The most Republican-leaning state to have two Democratic senators is West Virginia, with Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin. One additional Republican-leaning state (Montana) is represented by two Democratic Senators. The most Democratic-leaning state to have a Republican senator is Illinois, with Republican Mark Kirk. The least Republican-leaning state to have two Republican senators is Georgia, represented by Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, with no Democratic-leaning states at all having elected two Republicans as of the 2012 elections.

Five Republican-leaning states (the most Republican being Arkansas at R+14) have governors from the Democratic Party; eight Democratic-leaning states (the most Democratic being Maine and New Jersey at D+6) have governors from the Republican Party.

Massachusetts has the largest number of Representatives (nine) of the eight states that have entirely Democratic delegations; Oklahoma has the largest number of Representatives (five) of the ten states that have entirely Republican delegations. Note that the seven states with only one representative must be among these; two are Democratic (Delaware and Vermont) and five are Republican (Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Wasserman, David (October 11, 2012). "House About PVI". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Monopoly Politics". Center for Voting and Democracy. July 1997. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cook Releases 2008 PVIs, With a Change SSPers Will Like". Swing State Project. April 9, 2009. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 







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