Party bias in PO closings, or just reality?

The Hill posted a story claiming that the majority of post offices the USPS wants to close are in Republican congressionsl districts. Unfortunately, the publication hasn’t provided data to back up its assertion, and the numbers it provided in its story are rather vague:

A large majority of post offices that have been targeted for closure are in Republican districts.

More than 2,500 of these post offices are in GOP districts while about 1,000 are in districts represented by Democrats, according to a review by The Hill. There were fewer than 100 stores where the district could not be determined because the zip code is represented by lawmakers in both parties.

More importantly, the Hill failed to analyze the numbers- it doesn’t say, for example, how many total post offices are in Republican or Democratic districts. In addition to the fact that there are obviously more GOP than Democratic districts, Republicans tend to represent more of the rural areas likely to have offices serving very small communities.

Here’s a quick comparison of two states- one red and one blue. My home state of Massachusetts is relatively urban, suburban, and Democratic. It has a population of 6,545,593, and contains 744 ZIP codes. That’s an average of 8,533 people per ZIP code. Kentucky, on the other hand, is a more rural, and more Republican state. It also has a smaller population than Massachusetts- 4,026,336. But the state has far more ZIP codes- 1,015. That means that on a per capita basis, Kentucky has more than twice as many ZIP codes as Massachusetts. It would hardly be surprising to see Kentucky lose more POs. (Note: I realize that there are more ZIP codes than post offices. It’s still a good proxy for POs, however, and if anything, using ZIPs should overstate post office coverage in urban states, since they are more likely to have multi-ZIP post offices.)

Looked at another way, Massachusetts has 13 post offices serving communities with less than 200 people. Kentucky has 60.

Obviously the numbers cited by The Hill don’t tell the whole story!

via Most post offices targeted for closure are in GOP districts – TheHill.com.

  • Poor Richard

    *See Costa Gravas “Betrayed”* Everyone has an axe to grind…

  • M. Jamison

    When one looks at the criteria for selection, the less than $27,500 revenue figure stands out. Most of these are going to be A-E offices with some 11’s and 13’s and they are going to be in sparsely populated areas.
    Overlay a map of Congressional Districts and one finds that Republicans hold a good many seats in sparsely populated rural districts. There’s no conspiracy, the correlation is coincidental. The fact is that if one examines station and branch closures in urban areas one might be likely to find a predominant number in districts represented by Democrats.
    If one accepts the Postal Service argument that network retraction needs to be a priority (and I don’t) then the offices that will be primarily targeted are small and rural. The fact that those areas may be more likely to be represented by Republicans is interesting to the extent that rural folks may be more reliant on some of the services provided by the government and those folks seem to consistently vote against their own interests.

  • Dioxanne

    LOL I hope it’s true! Payback’s a bitch for Bushy’s closing of military bases in Democratic districts, huh? Not to mention all the other dirty tricks perpetrated by the Republicans.

  • NE Citizens OK

    We love this blog. We started our own!

    Please visit:

    http://necitizensok.wordpress.com/

    We are working to try to keep our post office!

  • Proud Product of the USA

    GOP argues most of the Post Offices being study for closure are in GOP districts. Who cares…The fact is these Post Offices are in rural areas and areas populated by american people whom need the Postal Service. This includes the elderly, handicapped and low income families that need this service and have a right to it. Closing Post Offices that belong to the American people will not fix the financial difficulties of the Postal Service. However, passing HR1351 will and would be a decision based on doing something for the common good.

  • Proud Product of the USA

    In Addtion, Republican Issa has presented a bill HR2309 to close 2 billion worth of Post Offices and is supported by most of the GOP. What do they want? The Post Offices not to be in their Districts?