Top Banner
Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect State Legislative Electoral Competition? Richard Forgette Andrew Garner John Winkle University of Mississippi Abstract Critics of recent congressional and state legislative redistricting have argued that gerrymandering severely undermines electoral competitiveness to the point of violating constitutional equal protection standards. In this paper, we evaluate whether redistricting principles and processes have any measurable consequence on state legislative electoral competition. Besides their substantive importance, state legislative elections also provide greater variance than congressional data for empirically assessing theoretical propositions of redistricting structures. We find that electoral competitiveness in state legislative races declined throughout the 1990s even after term limit reforms were implemented. The proportion of uncontested state legislative seats has doubled since the 1970s and there has also been a slight increase in margin of victory. Our results show that political principles and some traditional, “politically neutral” redistricting principles sig- nificantly decrease the probability of uncontested state legislative elections. We conclude with a discussion of how our findings relate to the redistricting reform debate.

Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Dec 10, 2022



Michael Edson
Welcome message from author
This document is posted to help you gain knowledge. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about it! Share it to your friends and learn new things together.
Page 1: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Do Redistricting Principles and Practices AffectState Legislative Electoral Competition?

Richard Forgette

Andrew Garner

John Winkle

University of Mississippi


Critics of recent congressional and state legislative redistricting have arguedthat gerrymandering severely undermines electoral competitiveness to the pointof violating constitutional equal protection standards. In this paper, we evaluatewhether redistricting principles and processes have any measurable consequenceon state legislative electoral competition. Besides their substantive importance,state legislative elections also provide greater variance than congressional datafor empirically assessing theoretical propositions of redistricting structures. Wefind that electoral competitiveness in state legislative races declined throughoutthe 1990s even after term limit reforms were implemented. The proportion ofuncontested state legislative seats has doubled since the 1970s and there hasalso been a slight increase in margin of victory. Our results show that politicalprinciples and some traditional, “politically neutral” redistricting principles sig-nificantly decrease the probability of uncontested state legislative elections. Weconclude with a discussion of how our findings relate to the redistricting reformdebate.

Page 2: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

1 Introduction

The parties’ electoral parity and the rise of elite partisanship both at the federal and

state levels have heightened sensitivities to political gerrymandering during recent re-

districting cycles. Gerrymandering - drawing legislative lines to advantage a group

or individual - is often viewed as a pervasive and inescapable reality of the tradi-

tionally politicized American redistricting process. This paper examines the effects

of redistricting structures on state legislative electoral competitiveness during the last

two redistricting cycles. Particularly, do statutorily-defined redistricting principles and

processes affect the level of electoral competition in state legislative races? Our anal-

ysis is couched within the apparent gap between social science and legal accounts of

political redistricting.

Social science studies of political redistricting generally present a complex picture

underscoring the muted, variable effects and inherent trade-offs of redistricting princi-

ples and processes (Butler and Cain 1991; Morrill 1981). Early and seminal empirical

studies on redistricting effects discounted them as a major factor on partisan seat

balance and incumbency advantage (Erikson 1972; Ferejohn 1977; Abramowitz 1983;

Born 1985). Rush (2000), among others, concludes that the electoral consequences

of redistricting are ultimately unpredictable for mapmakers given the independence of

American voters. In short, social science accounts generally present a more nuanced

picture of redistricting effects in which intentions often fall short of reality.

In contrast, popular and legal accounts of redistricting - particularly, accounts of

the 2000 cycle - generally have emphasized the partisan and incumbency excesses of

redistricting and more often advocated political reform and stricter judicial enforcement

(Garrow 2002; Toobin 2003; Hirsch 2003) In the wake of recent redistricting, these

popular and legal critics argue that the practice of gerrymandering has progressed

to a point that it now results in severe electoral biases (Issacharoff 2002; Garrow


Page 3: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

2002; Issacharoff and Pildes 1998). Additionally, they claim that “excessive” partisan

gerrymandering violates the equal protection clause as it consigns electoral majorities

to minority status based on their political views.1 Political gerrymandering claims

should be closely scrutinized by the Courts when electoral districts are drawn by a

nonpartisan body, as occurs in some states.

In this paper, we empirically investigate a legal and popular criticism of contem-

porary redistricting. Specifically, do districting principles specified by a state either

statutorily or constitutionally affect change in legislative electoral marginality and

challenger-entry? Do political principles - such as prohibitions of incumbency protec-

tion or requirements for electorally competitive districts - affect electoral marginality

or candidate entry? We also assess the impact of districting processes on incumbency

protection. Do states with politicized districting processes - ones in which the state

legislature is legally charged with drafting and affirming the districting plan - draw

less competitive districts than states where elected officials are less determinative of

districting plans?

The paper is organized as follows. In the next section, we present a theoretical

explanation for the effect of statutorily-defined, redistricting principles and processes

on state legislative competition. We also report how these redistricting principles vary

across states and present figures showing the variation over time of electoral competi-

tion for state legislative races. The analysis section presents empirical results examin-

ing the effects of districting principles on two measures of electoral competitiveness-the

probability that an election will be uncontested and the margin of victory for contested

races. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of whether reforms in redistricting prin-

ciples or processes enhance political competition in state legislative elections.


Page 4: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

2 Districting Principles and Electoral Competition

Political scientists have long recognized that legislatures do not have carte blanche con-

trol over redistricting. Cain, MacDonald, and McDonald (2005) describe the current

growth of redistricting process reform and related litigation at the state-level. Cox

(2004) classifies these state redistricting reforms as institution-selecting regulations,

process-based regulations, and outcome-based regulations. Institution-selecting regu-

lations relate to the rules establishing who proposes and approves redistricting plans -

legislatures or commissions. Process-based regulations refer to the formal redistricting

principles and rules directing those mapmakers. Outcome-based regulations, finally,

relate to any explicit standard for evaluating redistricting outcomes - such as minority

vote dilution or partisan bias.

Our interest focuses on process-based (principles) and institution-selecting regula-

tions. Nearly all states formally declare traditional “politically neutral” redistricting

principles in their redistricting laws or constitutions. These principles are intended to

guide state mapmakers and inhibit their ability to manipulate district lines (Barabas

and Jerit 2004; Forgette and Platt 2005). There is significant variation between states’

redistricting principles and within states regarding which principles govern state legisla-

tive and congressional districting plans. Table One shows which states require specific

principles under their state redistricting law. The table demonstrates the substantial

variation across states and regions.2 With the exception of the “cores of prior districts”

principle, states are more likely to adopt formal principles governing redistricting for

their own legislative mapmaking than for congressional mapmaking.

Redistricting principles may be classified into three types: form-based, population-

based, and politically-based criteria. Form-based redistricting criteria - compactness

and contiguity - relate to the prescribed physical shapes of legislative districts. Con-

tiguity simply refers to whether all parts of the district are connected; it is the most


Page 5: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

widely accepted redistricting criterion across states. Compactness suggests that dis-

tricts should be composed of tightly defined areas. The presumption is that representa-

tives and constituents may find it easier to interact and communicate with each other

with a compactly shaped district. While there are multiple measures of compactness,

the Supreme Court and state supreme courts have not adopted a single one.3

Population-based principles imply some intrinsic democratic value for including

certain voting populations within a district. We include in this category principles for

respecting political subdivisions, preserving communities of interest, and maintaining

district cores. The political subdivisions principle suggests that states should follow

presumably politically neutral and pre-existing political boundaries like county and

municipal lines when drawing legislative and congressional districts. The democratic

value of overlapping legislative lines with other political jurisdictions apparently rests

in increasing voters’ awareness of their elected officials (by conforming lines with the

public’s understanding of boundaries) and clarifying intergovernmental relations be-

tween local, state, and national elected officials. A principle to preserve communities

of interest is less objectively defined than the political subdivision value. That is, states

declaring a “communities of interest” principle typically require citizen meetings held

in locations across a jurisdiction in order to determine where communities of interest

exist. These communities of interest may correspond to existing political or geographic

boundaries; however, the principle has also been used to justify lines inclusive to racial

and ethnic communities that are not necessarily compact (McDonald 2007). Finally, a

district core principle declares a value for maintaining the population center or “core”

within the existing district.

A final class of principles includes explicit political criteria inhibiting or promoting

the likelihood of electing a particular candidate. These political principles include a

value of incumbency protection - a districting criteria allowing or requiring considera-


Page 6: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

tion of incumbency status. At the other extreme, some states compel incumbent-blind

redistricting, explicitly prohibiting mapmakers from considering incumbency status. In

these cases, states may disallow mapmakers from knowing the location of incumbents’

homes or may limit the use of election information (e.g., party registration data) in the

course of redistricting. For example, Iowa’s redistricting statute expressly forbids the

use of political affiliation, previous election results, the addresses of incumbents, or any

demographic information other than population in creating their redistricting plans.

A nonpartisan Legislative Services Bureau drafts alternative redistricting plans follow-

ing only principles of population equality, contiguity, respect for political subdivisions,

and compactness. Two other states - Washington and Arizona - explicitly require map-

makers to draw lines that promote electorally competitive districts while also satisfying

other stated districting principles. Because incumbency tends to decrease the competi-

tiveness of legislative elections, we expect lower levels of electoral competition in states

where incumbency protection is allowed or even required. In states prohibiting these

practices, we expect legislative races to be relatively more competitive.

How competitive are state legislative elections? Figures 1 and 2 show the trend

over the past 36 years, 1968 to 2004, and demonstrate a substantial decline in electoral

competitiveness with regard to candidate entry. Our two measures of competition

include, first, the percentage of legislative seats that were uncontested each year and,

second, the margin of victory for seats that were contested by both major parties.

As the figure shows, the percentage of uncontested seats has increased steadily from

a low of 20 percent in 1968 to a high of 39 percent in 2002. Thus, the degree to

which state legislators run unopposed in their districts has nearly doubled over the

last several decades, resulting in a dramatic decline in electoral competitiveness at the

state level. In contrast, the margin of victory for contested elections remained relatively

stable and showed only a slight increase through the 1990s. Despite this stability over


Page 7: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

time, the absolute value for margin of victory remains high. On average, candidates in

state legislative elections win by approximately 25 percent. Figure 2 provides further

evidence of declining competitiveness by charting the percent of electorally marginal

state legislative elections over time. The percent of marginal seats (whether defined

as a 60-40 or a 55-45 split in the district) declined considerably since 1968, although

there was a significant rise in the number of marginal races during the late 1980’s and

early 1990’s, followed by further decline following the 1992 election.

We test whether there is an empirical link between the statutorily-defined redistrict-

ing practices defined in this section and the level of state legislative electoral competi-

tion. Political scientists generally have investigated redistricting effects when modeling

congressional partisan and incumbency gerrymandering.4 The relationship between

redistricting practices and electoral competitiveness has largely gone unexplored at

the state legislative level, however. McDonald (2007) recently notes “the paucity of

research that investigates the political effects of state criteria” (677). The theoretical

rationale for this empirical link is that formal principles lessen the range of possible re-

districting plans available to elected partisans for drawing new lines. Districting plans

in states that formally declare these principles may be more vulnerable to legal chal-

lenges. Thus, mapmakers may engage in less incumbent or partisan gerrymandering.

Compared to congressional redistricting, state legislative maps may even afford

stronger political opportunities. The greater number and small population of state

legislative districts (compared to congressional districts) may allow mapmakers greater

capacity to manipulate district lines for political ends. Additionally, legislative district-

ing permits greater legal population deviation compared to congressional mapmaking

(ten percent compared to one percent). For these reasons, we theorize that formal

principles and institution-selecting regulations promote state legislative electoral com-



Page 8: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Still, there is also reason to suspect that redistricting regulations might have little

impact. Increasingly advanced and sophisticated technology could allow mapmakers to

realize political goals while accommodating legally prescribed districting practices. The

2000 redistricting cycle particularly saw a significant advancement in GIS software and

block-level data available to more mapmakers (Monmonier 2001). The intended effect

of selecting processes (e.g. independent boards) and formal principles may be muted

over time between the 1990 and 2000 redistricting cycles. In the next section, we discuss

the data and methods of our research design and present the results relating different

redistricting practices to cross-sectional variation in state electoral competition.

3 Data and Methods

We examine district-level election data for years following the implementation of each

state’s redistricting plan during the 1990 and 2000 redistricting cycles using the State

Legislative Election Returns, 1967-2003 dataset collected by the Inter-university Con-

sortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). The previous section presented

longitudinal trends for uncontested races and margin of victory for contested elections,

which represent our two measures of electoral competition. In the cross-sectional anal-

ysis presented below, these two measures become the dependent variables in our re-

gression models. Margin of victory is measured as the absolute difference between the

vote shares of the two major parties while uncontested races are coded 1 for elections

with only one major party candidate and 0 when both parties ran candidates.

Although the number of multimember districts has declined since the 1970’s, several

states continue to use multimember positions and free-for-all districts for legislative

elections. Multimember position districts require that candidates run for a particular

post and are therefore coded identically to single-member districts. Multimember free-


Page 9: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

for-all districts, however, have multiple candidates from each of the two major parties

competing for seats in the same district and must be treated differently. Consequently,

we use the method created by Niemi, Jackman, and Winksy (1991) for measuring the

margin of victory in these districts. In addition, following Jewell and Breaux (1991),

multimember free-for-all districts are coded as contested when the total number of

candidates is greater than the total number of seats in the district and are coded as

uncontested when the number of candidates is equal to the number of seats being


Our primary interest is examining whether and to what extent state laws and redis-

tricting practices affect levels of legislative competition after controlling for district-level

factors such as incumbency and district characteristics. Because legislative districts are

clustered within particular states, we cannot assume that the errors in our regression

models are independently and identically distributed (i.i.d.). Failing to account for the

multilevel nature of the data can lead to serious estimation problems, most notably

smaller standard errors that can make state-level coefficients appear more significant

than they should be (Primo, Jacobsmeier, and Milyo 2007). We therefore use clustered

sample errors to account for the multilevel structure of the dataset.5

To examine the effect of state laws and practices on legislative competition, we

supplemented the ICPSR dataset with state-level data on the statutory and consti-

tutionally stated redistricting principles and practices used during the 1990 and 2000

redistricting cycles. Information about the redistricting principles required by states

was collected from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) publication

Redistricting Law 2000 (Table 5). Data for the 2000 redistricting cycle was collected

by examining the state constitutions and statutes to determine which states (such as

Arizona) altered their requirements between the two redistricting cycles.

Our first set of state-level factors include formal redistricting principles - compact-


Page 10: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

ness as well as the protection of incumbents, cores of prior districts, communities of

interest, and existing political subdivisions - required by states when redrawing legisla-

tive district lines. 6 In previous work on congressional redistricting, we have conceptu-

alized redistricting principles based on whether they govern the physical shape of the

district (compactness and contiguity), the people who live in the district (protecting

communities of interest, existing political subdivisions, and cores of prior districts), or

expressly political purposes such as protecting incumbents (Forgette and Platt 2005).

Our argument is that there is a cumulative effect of these principles that limit the

ability of mapmakers to shift political neighborhoods across district lines for parti-

san gains or incumbency protection, especially for the population-based principles. We

therefore include an additive scale indicating the number of population-based principles

a state requires that ranges from zero for states that require none of these principles

to three for states that require all of them. One drawback to this approach is that

it does not allow us to examine which principles, if any, have the strongest effect on

state legislative competition. To more accurately pinpoint which specific principles

have the strongest effect, we also present an alternative specification where each of

the three population-based principles are included in the analysis as individual dummy


The other redistricting principles are coded as dummy variables. Compactness is

coded one if states require that district lines be drawn in a compact manner and zero

otherwise. 8 For incumbency protection, some states expressly forbid the protection of

incumbents while other states actually mandate the practice. Prohibiting incumbency

protection is coded one if states forbid mapmakers from considering the residence of

an incumbent or to otherwise protect incumbents when redrawing lines, and is coded

zero otherwise. A separate dummy variable is included that is coded one if states

require incumbency protection and zero otherwise, leaving states that neither require


Page 11: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

nor prohibit incumbency protection as the baseline.

Turning to the practices and processes used for legislative redistricting, we include

several variables that indicate which actors were responsible for the redrawing of dis-

trict lines. First, states that use a commission or redistricting board to draw district

lines are coded one while those that do not are coded zero.9 We relied on the NCSL

CITATION for data on state redistricting boards and commissions. Second, even when

the legislature or redistricting board oversees the drawing of the maps, legal challenges

sometimes result in the courts imposing their own redistricting plans on the states

(Weber 1995, 2005). States that had court-imposed plans are coded one while those

that did not have court-imposed plans are coded zero.10

Separate dummy variables were also added indicating whether there was divided

partisan control over the legislature (Weber 1995, 2005) and whether the Governor

has a veto over the legislative plan.11 Our final process-related variable measures the

degree to which a state is covered under the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of

the Voting Rights Act. States that have no preclearance requirement are coded zero.

States where only a few townships are required to be precleared by the Department

of Justice (e.g., Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wyoming) are coded one.

States that require whole counties to be precleared (e.g., California, Florida, North

Carolina, New York, and South Dakota) are coded two while states that must submit

their entire state redistricting plan for approval are coded three. The baseline in the

model therefore represents states with legislative-drawn plans that have unified control,

no gubernatorial veto, no preclearance under the Voting Rights Act, and whose plans

survived court challenges.

Our control variables include a lagged variable for previous margin of victory or

previous uncontested race to control for district effects, whether the state has imposed

term limits on state legislators or not, the presence of an incumbent in the race, and


Page 12: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

whether the district is a senate or a house seat (coded one for senate and zero for

house). We also control for the level of professionalism of the legislature.12 Finally,

the nature of multimember free-for-all districts could foster closer competition than

single-member or post districts. We therefore add a dummy variable coded one if the

district is free-for-all and zero if it is a single-member or multimember position district.

4 The Effect of Principles and Practices on Legisla-

tive Competition

Table 2 shows the results for the two specifications of the uncontested model. Model

1 uses an additive scale to assess the cumulative effect of population-based principles

while Model 2 allows each population-based principle to enter as a separate dummy

variable. For each model, the first column lists the logit regression coefficients and

statistical significance levels for each variable, the second column shows the clustered

standard errors for these coefficients, and the third column includes the estimated effect

of a discrete change in each independent variable on the probability that the district

will be uncontested. For the dummy variables, the effect represents the difference in the

predicted probability of an uncontested seat for districts that have that characteristic

and those that do not. For the other variables, the effect is the difference in probability

between the lowest observed value of the independent variable and the highest observed

value of the independent variable.

Overall, our results show that population-based principles help make legislative

districts more competitive by reducing the probability of an uncontested race. The

additive scale is negative and statistically significant (p ¿ .03) with a strong substantive

effect. The predicted probability of an uncontested seat is about 17 percent lower for

states that adopt all three population-based principles as compared to those that do


Page 13: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

not require any of these principles. It appears that the communities of interest and

political subdivisions principles have the strongest effect of the three, indicated by the

negative and significant coefficients in Model 2. Adopting either principle reduced the

chances of an uncontested race by about 9 percent. In contrast, the coefficient for cores

of prior districts in Model 2 was not significant and was actually positive.

The results for the other redistricting principles are mixed. Requiring states to draw

compact districts does not appear to have any effect on contestation. The coefficient for

compactness failed to reach traditional levels of statistical significance in either model

and the substantive effect was rather small. Likewise, the coefficient for prohibiting in-

cumbency protection did not reach traditional levels of statistical significance in either

model. However, states that require mapmakers to consider an incumbent’s residence

or to avoid placing two incumbents in the same district have considerably higher un-

contested rates compared to other states. Depending on the specification of the model,

requiring the protection of incumbents increases the probability of an uncontested race

by 10 to 16 percent. In sum, we find that certain redistricting principles have a strong,

if variable, effect on contestation rates.

In contrast, the process used by states for legislative redistricting does not appear

to have much of an effect on the likelihood of an uncontested race. Only preclearance

under the Voting Rights Act has a consistently strong effect across both models while

the coefficient for independent boards reached traditional levels of statistical signifi-

cance for Model 1, although the significance level for the latter was not overwhelming

(p > .067).13 The probability of an uncontested race was about 16 to 19 percent higher

(depending on the model) when a state must submit its entire plan for preclearance

as compared to states that are not required to submit any portion of their plan for

preclearance. The rest of the process variables failed to reach traditional levels of

statistical significance and had only modest substantive effects on uncontested races.


Page 14: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Finally, our control variables performed largely as expected. Term limits made

legislative elections more competitive by lowering the probability of an uncontested

race, although the effect was only significant in one of the models. All of the other

control variables were significant and strong across both models. Notably, multimember

free-for-all districts promoted greater competition by lowering the likelihood of an

uncontested race by about 20 percent. Senate seats and professional legislatures had

more competitive races while incumbents were about 11 percent more likely to run

uncontested than open seat races.

The results using margin of victory as the dependent variable are shown in Ta-

ble 3 and largely confirm the results described above. Population-based redistricting

principles have the strongest effect, with the results largely driven by the communi-

ties of interest and political subdivision variables. The additive scale for redistricting

principles is strongly significant, negative, and adopting all three of these principles

lowers the expected margin of victory in a district by about 15 percent. As before,

compactness does not appear to have any significant effect on legislative competition.

Prohibiting incumbency protection also does not appear to have an effect while requir-

ing incumbency protection creates less competitive districts, though the latter results

are only significant for Model 1.14

However, we do find greater support for the process variables in the margin of

victory models. Independent redistricting commissions and court-imposed plans both

lead to less competitive races, indicating by the positive and statistically significant

coefficients across both models. The margin of victory is about 10 percent higher for

states using independent redistricting commissions and about 6 to 7 percent higher

when a court imposes its own redistricting plan on the state. Preclearance under

the Voting Rights Act also led to less competitive races, which is consistent with our

findings in the uncontested model. States that are fully covered under Section 5 had


Page 15: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

margins of victory that were about 12 percent higher than those that were not covered

at all. As with the uncontested models, however, divided control of the legislature

and gubernatorial veto had no effect. The control variables also performed the same as

they did in the uncontested model with the exception of the professionalism coefficient,

which did not reach traditional levels of statistical significance.

Finally, we argued above that the effect of redistricting principles could be muted

by increasingly sophisticated technology used for legislative redistricting. To test this

hypothesis, we re-estimated the models by including a interaction between the additive

population-based principle scale and a dummy variable for the redistricting cycle.15 Our

expectation is that the effect of adopting so-called neutral redistricting principles will

have a stronger effect during the 1990’s and a weaker effect during the 2000’s as more

sophisticated technology allowed mapmakers to work around the principles to accom-

plish their redistricting goals. The results of our model support this expectation. The

coefficients for the additive population-based principles scale and the require incum-

bency protection variable in the 1990’s were roughly twice the size of the coefficients

during the 2000 redistricting cycle.16 For example, adopting all three population-based

principles in the 1990’s resulted in a decline in the probability of an uncontested rate

of about 25 percent. In contrast, the probability of an uncontested election declined

by only about 14 percent in the 2000 redistricting cycle for states adopting all three

principles. Similarly, adopting all three principles resulted in a 23 percent decline in

margin of victory during the 1990’s but only lowered margin of victory by about 10

percent during the 2000 round of redistricting.


Page 16: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

5 Discussion

This paper has investigated the relationship between redistricting principles and elec-

toral competitiveness across state legislative districts. We began by reporting marked

increases in the percent of uncontested races and slight rises in the margins of victory.

We then reported results from models of state legislative marginality and challenger

entry gauging the effects of the 1990 and 2000 redistricting principles and processes.

Critics reasonably wonder if the decline in electoral competitiveness grossly inhibits

the extent to which state legislative bodies function as a basis for democratic respon-

siveness. If it is, can anything be done to stem the electoral tide?

Our study aims for a more nuanced understanding of the effects of declarative

process-based redistricting principles and selecting processes on state legislative elec-

toral competition. Our findings indicate that these elements have marginal but signif-

icant effects. Aside from the primary standards set by federal courts (one person, one

vote; avoidance of retrogression of minority voting rights in covered jurisdictions under

the Voting Rights Act; avoidance of vote dilution by creation of majority-minority dis-

tricts; and, prohibition on racial gerrymandering), state lawmakers or commissions will

choose from available secondary competing principles to guide mapmaking. And those

choices underscore the inescapable political nature of redistricting. Our results show

that two population-based criteria, respect for political subdivisions and the preserva-

tion of communities of interest, lessen the margins of victory as well as the probability

of unconstested seats. The cumulative effect of these principles (as indicated by the

additive scale measure), moreover, produces an even greater consequence.

This state legislative analysis parallels recent studies in congressional redistricting.

Forgette and Platt (2005) find that redistricting principles and processes affected rates

in congressional incumbency protection during the recent redistricting cycle. In the

1992 elections, after the previous redistricting period, 84 U.S. House races were de-


Page 17: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

cided by a 10 percent margin or less; in the 2002 election, though, 38 races had a

comparable margin. Correspondingly, the number of electorally safe incumbent seats

grew over the decade. In the 1992 election, 65 percent of congressional incumbents

running for reelection won with a 20 percent or greater margin; in the 2002 reelection,

though, 83 percent of incumbents won by this wide margin. These changes in con-

gressional electoral competitiveness occurred among both Republican and Democratic


In other ways, though, the decline in state legislative electoral competitiveness is

different from the decline in congressional races. State legislative races have strikingly

higher rates of uncontested races compared to congressional contests. The effects of

term limits and legislative professionalism also make state legislative contests different

from congressional elections. Finally, our interest in the effect of redistricting principles

presents another difference between state and congressional contests. As noted earlier,

states impose a substantially greater number of redistricting constraints for their state

legislative plans than for their congressional districting plans. Additionally, federal

courts do not require the degree of population equality for state legislative districts

compared to the exactness for congressional districts mandated under federal law.17

Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings from 1973 held (1) that states may deviate 10% from

absolute equality without the need to defend in court, and (2) that even a deviation of

17.4% may be justified .18.

Our findings parallel and extend arguments advanced more than a decade ago by

Butler and Cain (1992), namely, principles of redistricting present inherent trade-offs.

In fact, political redistricting principles - separate from and in addition to the trade-offs

between presumably neutral principles - present tradeoffs for redistricting reformers and

mapmakers. As the summary matrix in Figure 1 [check this] illustrates, political prin-

ciples may be neither wholly compatible with one another nor mutually attainable.


Page 18: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

The figure arrays alternative political principles on each dimension while describing

their potential inconsistencies. Political principles include values to minimize partisan

bias (state seat share minus vote share for each party), maximize district electoral

competitiveness, minimize incumbency advantage, maximize minority representation,

or maximize political insulation (restricting mapmakers from examining electoral or

party registration data). It is implausible to assume, for example, that in efforts to

reconfigure legislative districts state decision-makers will be able to maximize electoral

competition and advance minority representation, or to maximize political insulation

and minimize partisan bias. In some instances, pursuing one objective clearly un-

dermines another. In others, relationships between principles become operationally

inconsistent. Unavoidable conflicts of principle occur, in other words, both in theory

and in practice.

What then does this suggest for the ongoing reform debate over legislative redis-

tricting? Is the public disenchanted with partisan redistricting maneuvers, and does

social science research provide guidance? Voters in California and Ohio in 2005 re-

jected ballot initiatives calling for another round of state redistricting within the cur-

rent decade. For the most part Democrats in California and Republicans in Ohio

led popular charges against repetitive redistricting, preferring instead the natural and

once-a-decade model. The common explanation for these actions, observers suggest,

lies in the prevailing perception by the respective electorates that current state party

leaders or prospective ones were engaging in veiled partisan power plays to enhance

legislative seat advantages (Hirsch and Mann 2005). Beyond the issue of timing, and

more importantly, each of the ballot initiatives in California and Ohio would have also

removed from the legislature the task of redrawing district lines. Instead the propos-

als would have authorized special neutral commissions, composed of retired judges in

California and citizens in Ohio, to draft redistricting plans. Voters in Ohio rejected


Page 19: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Issue 4 by a decisive 70 percent to 30 percent margin, while counterparts in California

followed suit against Proposition 77 with a solid 59 percent majority.19 Neither of these

ballot initiatives on institution-selecting regulations, however, should be regarded as

routine. Competing political interest groups generated huge contributions to influence

election outcomes. Groups in Ohio poured in more than $10.2 million dollars, while

organizations in California invested more than double that figure, an astounding sum

of $29.5 million.20 Simplifying the debate over the design of redistricting institutions

to a forced choice between legislatures or independent commissions, however, may too

narrowly frame the matter and thereby disserve democratic interests (Cox 2006). Re-

gardless of the designated mapmaker, however, the vexing choices of standards still

remain (Murphy 2005).

Observers in recent years have looked to the U.S. Supreme Court for authoritative

guidance in the matter of partisan gerrymandering. While disposing of the disputes at

hand, two rulings, one in 2004 and another in 2006, however, failed to provide clear

judicial standards. In Vieth v. Jubilerer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004), the Court by a 5-4 vote

affirmed the lower court ruling and dismissed the claim of partisan gerrymandering

raised against the legislative plan to redraw Pennsylvania congressional districts. A

plurality of four Justices led by Antonin Scalia concluded that partisan gerrymander-

ing represented a nonjusticiable issue because no judicial standards could be fashioned

to address it. The remaining members of the Court disagreed, with one unwilling to

foreclose the possibility of discoverable criteria and the other four offering three dis-

tinct standards for adjudicating such claims. The unsatisfying ambiguity perpetuated

by Vieth anticipated a more conclusive action by the Court two years later in the con-

troversial Texas case, League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S.

399 (2006). The Court, 5-4, rejected the broad challenge to a congressional redistrict-

ing plan but the analysis advanced by Anthony Kennedy did not itself command a


Page 20: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

majority. Among the fractured set of opinions, the only ruling that commanded a

majority of Justices required the redrawing of majority-minority districts for Latinos

in the southwest portion of the state. The issue of standards for judicial determination

of impermissible partisanship, however, remained unresolved, for now.

Our analysis indicates that states’ statutory restrictions can promote electoral com-

petition. However, we do not argue or indirectly imply that redistricting is the only

or even the primary cause of declining electoral competitiveness. There are multiple

factors affecting the decline in state legislative electoral competitiveness, including a

complex interaction of geography and politics. Persisting, and in many cases growing,

racial and economic stratification within metropolitan areas has resulted indirectly in a

geographic sorting along party lines (Orfield 2002). The electoral consequences of this

demographic, partisan stratification have been strengthened with more sophisticated

legislative mapmaking tools. Geographic information systems (GIS) allow political

cartographers to anticipate the partisan implications of ever-smaller unit changes in

district boundaries (Monmonier 2001). A political redistricting process limited by

few if any traditional districting principles only heightens the effects of these social

and technological forces. In the end, the demographic and social forces contribut-

ing to declining legislative and congressional electoral competitiveness may be largely

long-term and uncontrollable. Redistricting may only intensify rather than generate

partisan stratification. Legislative electoral competitiveness can be promoted but not


Furthermore, even if it could be mandated, our results do not address the connec-

tion between electoral and institutional partisanship. Pundits and political scientists

have often expressed schizophrenic perspectives on the role electoral competitiveness

plays in legislative representation. For instance, while lower competitiveness may sug-

gest a decline of electoral accountability, political scientists have often emphasized the


Page 21: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

excesses of electoral vote-seeking (Mayhew 1974; Fiorina 1989). Additionally, Brunell

(2005) finds that voters are more likely to approve of legislative performance when they

voted for the winning candidate. In other words, more competitive districts may com-

pel incumbents to engage in more electioneering (and less governing) while lowering

public approval of legislative performance. Furthermore, we wonder whether declining

electoral competitiveness corresponds with stronger public policy preference agreement

within district constituencies. If so, does this add to levels of substantive representa-

tion or policy congruence between elected officials and their constituents? In short,

the effects of declining legislative and electoral competitiveness are multifaceted and



Page 22: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Figure 1: Longitudinal Trends in Uncontested Rates and Margin of Victory, 1968-2002


Page 23: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Figure 2: Longitudinal Trends in Percent of Marginal Seats, 1968-2002


Page 24: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Compact Cores/Prior Comm.’s of Political ProtectDistricts Interest Subdiv.’s Incumbents




Source: National Conference of State Legislatures Reapportionment Task Force (1989)

Table 1: Redistricting Principles Employed for State Legislative Redistricting: 1990’s


Page 25: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Model 1 Model 2Coefficient SE Effect Coefficient SE Effect

Pop.-based Principles −0.293 ∗ ∗ 0.135 −17.3%Communities of Interest −0.460 ∗ ∗ 0.212 −9.0%Political Subdivisions −0.422 ∗ ∗ 0.195 −8.8%Cores of Prior Districts 0.326 0.239 6.7%Compact −0.078 0.197 −1.6% 0.013 0.196 0.2%Prohibit Inc. Protection 0.210 0.243 4.4% 0.338 0.246 7.3%Require Inc. Protection 0.710 ∗ ∗∗ 0.266 15.8% 0.469∗ 0.252 10.2%Independent Board 0.458∗ 0.251 10.1% 0.382 0.238 8.2%Court Imposed Plan 0.306 0.249 6.5% 0.211 0.245 4.4%Divided Legislature 0.242 0.229 5.0% 0.233 0.233 4.8%Gubernatorial Veto −0.018 0.187 −0.4% 0.025 0.187 0.5%VRA Preclearance 0.290 ∗ ∗∗ 0.063 18.9% 0.252 ∗ ∗∗ 0.061 16.4%Term Limits −0.304 0.216 −5.9% −0.339∗ 0.191 −6.6%Multimember District −1.341 ∗ ∗∗ 0.238 −20.4% −1.327 ∗ ∗∗ 0.209 −20.2%Previously Uncontested 1.066 ∗ ∗∗ 0.111 23.1% 1.036 ∗ ∗∗ 0.11 22.4%Professionalism −0.018 ∗ ∗∗ 0.006 −19.4% −0.017 ∗ ∗∗ 0.006 −18.7%Senate −0.206 ∗ ∗ 0.087 −4.1% −0.231 ∗ ∗∗ 0.086 −4.6%Incumbent 0.580 ∗ ∗∗ 0.082 11.1% 0.590 ∗ ∗∗ 0.083 11.0%Constant −1.297 ∗ ∗∗ 0.303 −1.213 ∗ ∗∗ 0.289

N = 12604 12604Log-Likelihood -6930.42 -6900.57Wald test 401.61*** 437.20***Note: Cell entries are logit regression coefficients using clustered standard errors.∗p > .10; ∗ ∗ p > .05; ∗ ∗ ∗p > .01

Table 2: Effect of Redistricting Principles and Processes on Uncontested Elections


Page 26: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Model 1 Model 2Coefficient SE Coefficient SE

Pop.-based Principles −5.22 ∗ ∗∗ 1.84Communities of Interest −7.30 ∗ ∗ 2.85Political Subdivisions −6.76 ∗ ∗ 3.07Cores of Prior Districts 3.59 4.91Compact −2.54 3.63 −1.44 3.50Prohibit Inc. Protection 5.24 4.17 6.96 4.22Require Inc. Protection 11.18∗ 5.16 7.26 5.11Independent Board 11.06 ∗ ∗ 3.78 9.80 ∗ ∗ 3.91Court Imposed Plan 7.06 ∗ ∗∗ 3.10 5.82 ∗ ∗ 3.17Divided Legislature 2.84 4.16 2.58 4.09Gubernatorial Veto −2.77 2.94 −2.13 3.12VRA Preclearance 4.75 ∗ ∗∗ 1.14 4.23 ∗ ∗∗ 1.18Term Limits −6.22 3.10 −6.45 ∗ ∗∗ 3.08Multimember District −42.10 ∗ ∗∗ 4.81 −42.23 ∗ ∗∗ 5.07Previously Uncontested 0.29 ∗ ∗∗ 0.03 0.28 ∗ ∗∗ 0.03Professionalism −0.04 0.09 −0.02 0.10Senate −2.48∗ 1.66 −2.76∗ 1.63Incumbent 10.34 ∗ ∗∗ 1.47 10.38 ∗ ∗∗ 1.47Constant 24.69 7.22 25.83 6.75

N = 11311 11311R-square .160 .163Note: Cell entries are unstandardized OLS regression coefficients using clustered standard errors.∗p > .10; ∗ ∗ p > .05; ∗ ∗ ∗p > .01

Table 3: Effect of Redistricting Principles and Processes on Margin of Victory


Page 27: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Minimize Parti-san BiasMaximize Elec-toral Competi-tiveness

Electorally competitivedistricts that result infavoring one party mayresult in higher partisanbias.

Minimize In-cumbency Pro-tection

Minimizing incumbencyprotection may affectpartisan bias depending onthe party seat distributionwithin the state.

Minimizing incumbencyprotection may decreaseelectoral competitivenessin adjacent districts.

Maximize Mi-nority Represen-tation

Creating and preservingelectorally safe, majorityminority districts may in-crease statewide partisanbias.

Creating and preservingelectorally safe, majorityminority districts may de-crease electoral competi-tiveness in adjacent dis-tricts.

Creating and preservingelectorally safe, majorityminority districts may in-crease incumbency protec-tion in adjacent districts.

Maximize Politi-cal Insulation

Disallowing electoral dataor political factors limitsmapmakers ability to oper-ationalize partisan bias.

Disallowing electoral dataor political factors limitsmapmakers ability to op-erationalize electoral com-petitiveness.

Disallowing electoral dataor political factors limitsmapmakers ability to oper-ationalize incumbency pro-tection.

Disallowing electoral dataor political factors limitsmapmakers ability to oper-ationalize minority repre-sentation.

Minimize PartisanBias

Maximize ElectoralCompetitiveness

Minimize Incum-bency Protection

Maximize MinorityRepresentation

Table 4: A Matrix of the Trade-offs Inherent to Political Redistricting Principles


Page 28: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?


1The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions in the Pennsylvania and Texas redistricting cases

address these arguments. See, respectively, Vieth v. Jubilerer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004) and League of

United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S. 399 (2006). See FOrgette and Platte (2005) for

an analysis of partisan gerrymandering in 2000 congressional redistricting.

2State legislative redistricting principles are drawn from the National Council of State Legislatures.

The authors confirmed these with checks of state statutes and constitutions. Contiguity principle is

excluded from the table since the standard is generally required or implied across states.

3Compactness measures include the length of the district boundary, how well a district fits inside

a square or circle, and the weighted average of the center of population of a district. See Niemi, et.

al. (1990) and Webster (2004). Altman (1999) finds a nonlinear effect of the compactness standard

on constraining partisan gerrymandering. A stringent compactness standard may significantly con-

strain electoral manipulation. He also finds that the distribution of state partisanship conditions the

electoral effect of a compactness standard. A compactness standard in states with highly diffused or

concentrated minority partisans tends to advantage a majority party.

4See Mann and Cain (2005) and Abramowitz, Alexander, and Gunning (2006) for recent assess-

ments of congressional redistricting effects.

5Multilevel modeling or hierarchical modeling has also become more popular in state politics as a

way to control for clustering of observations by state and time. We estimated all of our models using

random effects regression (or logit for the uncontested model) for both dependent variables and found

no substantive differences in the results from those using clustered standard errors.

6We exclude contiguity from our analysis because virtually every state requires that legislative

districts be drawn such that all parts of the district are contiguous.

7We thank an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.

8A similar additive scale for form-based principles could not be created because virtually all states

require contiguity, leaving compactness as the only form-based principle in the model. However, we

also estimated our regression models with an additive scale that included compactness as well as the

population-based principles (ranging from zero to four). This alternative specification did not change

the results of the model and the effect of the additive scale remained both strong and statistically


9Many of the “independent” boards used to draw district lines are actually occupied by legisla-


Page 29: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

tors, governors, and other elected officials or have members that are not elected officials but who are

nonetheless appointed by the two major parties. In states such as Arkansas, where the board consists

of the governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, the process obviously allows partisan control

over the redistricting process. Other states such as Idaho and Montana have equal numbers of board

members chosen by both major parties, allowing bipartisan control over the process. We tested several

different specifications of the models below allowing the effect of commissions to vary according to

whether the board was partisan or bipartisan. Generally, we found that partisan commissions tended

to lower competition (fewer uncontested seats and lower margins of victory) while bipartisan commis-

sions tended to create less competitive districts. However, none of the coefficients in these auxiliary

models came close to reaching traditional levels of statistical significance nor were the substantive

effects strong for any of the models. We therefore present a single dummy variable in the models

below and discuss the implication of our findings in the discussion section.

10Some states, such as Alaska in the 2000 cycle, had their commission-created plans replaced by a

court-imposed plan and were thus recoded to zero for the independent commission variable in order

to keep the two variables mutually exclusive.

11These variables were only coded one if a court did not impose its own redistricting plan on the


12Professionalism is a concept with a rather complex meaning, containing both an institutional and

individual or member-specific element. Several studies have used a professionalism index consisting

of legislative expenses, session length, annual salary, and total compensation to the legislators that

capture these different components of legislative professionalism (Berry et al. 2000; Carey et al. 2000).

However, as Carey et al. (2000) note, these indexes are highly correlated with legislative salary (r =

.95). While the various indexes are theoretically stronger, we measure professionalism according to

legislative compensation (in thousands) for practical purposes. Data for professionalism were obtained

from the National Conference of State Legislatures.21

13The significance level for the independent board variable in Model 2 (p ¿ .108) was barely insignif-

icant. Moreover, the null result could be due to collinearity with other variables such as gubernatorial

veto (r = .44) and divided legislative control (r = .368). Dropping either or both of these other vari-

ables from the models caused the independent board variable to become statistically significant at the

.10 level, although again the level of significance remains unimpressive compared to other variables.

14Here again the null finding is partially due to collinearity between requiring incumbency protec-


Page 30: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

tion and cores of prior districts. Dropping cores of prior districts for Model 2 causes the requiring

incumbency protection variable to become significant at the .10 significance level.

15The dummy variable was coded 1 if the election occurred after the 1990 redistricting cycle and 0

if it occurred during the 2000 redistricting cycle. We also interacted this dummy with the compact-

ness variable, but neither the compactness variable nor the interaction reached conventional levels of

statistical significance.

16For the uncontested model, the coefficient for the additive scale was -.454 in 1990 but was only

-.250 in 2000. The coefficient for requiring incumbency protection was .761 in 1990 but only .362 in

2000. Likewise, for the margin of victory model, the coefficient for the additive scale was -7.77 in 1990

and -3.48 in 2000 while the coefficient for requiring incumbency protection was 12.52 in 1990 and only



Page 31: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?


Abramowitz, Alan. (1983) “Partisan Redistricting and the 1982 Congressional Elections.” The Jour-

nal of Politics, 45:767-770.

Barabas, Jason and Jennifer Jerit. 2004. “Redistricting Principles and Racial Representation.” State

Politics and Policy Quarterly, 4-4: 415-435.

Bartels, Larry. (2000) “Partisanship and Voting Behavior, 1952-1996.” American Journal of Political

Science, 44: 35-50.

Berry, William D., Michael B. Berkman, and Stuart Schneiderman. 2000. “Legislative Professional-

ism and Incumbent Reelection: The Development of Institutional Boundaries.” American Political

Science Review, v94, n4, pp. 859-874.

Born, Richard. 1985. “Partisan Intentions and Election Day Realities in the Congressional Districting

Process.” American Political Science Review 79:305-319.

Brunell, Thomas L. 2006. “Rethinking Redistricting: How Drawing Districts Packed with Partisans

Improves Representation and Attitudes Towards Congress.” PS: Political Science and Politics, 39:


Black, Earl and Merle Black. 2002. The Rise of Southern Republicans. Belknap Press.

Butler, David and Bruce Cain. 1992. Congressional Redistricting: Comparative and Theoretical Per-

spectives. New York: MacMillan.

Canon, David T. 1999. Race, Redistricting, and Representation: The Unintended Consequences of

Black Majority Districts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Carey, John M., Richard G. Niemi, and Lynda W. Powell. 2000. “Incumbency and the Probability

of Reelection in State Legislative Elections.” Journal of Politics, 62: 671-700.


Page 32: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Cameron, C., D. Epstein, and S. O’Halloran. 1996. “Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Sub-

stantive Black Representation in Congress?” American Political Science Review 90:794-812.

Cox, Adam B. 2006. “Designing Redistricting Institutions.” Election Law Journal, 5: 412-424.

Cox, Gary W. and Jonathan N. Katz. 2002. Elbridge Gerry’s Salamander: The Electoral Conse-

quences of the Reapportionment Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Davidson, Chandler and Bernard Grofman, eds. 1994. Quiet Revolution in the South: The Impact of

the Voting Rights Act, 1965-1990. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Desposato, Scott W. and John R. Petrocik. 2003. “The Variable Incumbency Advantage: New Voters,

Redistricting, and the Personal Vote.” American Journal of Political Science, 47: 18-32.

Erikson, Robert S. 1972. “Malapportionment, Gerrymandering, and Party Fortunes.” American Po-

litical Science Review, 66: 1234-1245.

The Federalist Papers With Letters of “Brutus”. 2003. Terrance Ball, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Forgette, Richard and Glenn Platt. 2005. “Redistricting Principles and Incumbency Protection in

the U.S. Congress.” Political Geography 24: 934-951.

Garrow, David. 2002. “Ruining The House.” The New York Times. November 13, p.A29.

Gimpel, J. 1999. Separate Destinations: Migration, Immigration, and the Politics of Places. Ann

Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Grofman, Bernard, William Koetzle, and Thomas L. Brunnell. 1997. “An Integrated Perspective

on the Three Potential Sources of Partisan Bias: Malapportionment, Turnout Differences, and Geo-


Page 33: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

graphic Distribution of Party Vote Shares.” Electoral Studies, 16: 457-470.

Hasen, Richard L. 2004. “Looking for Standards (in All the Wrong Places): Partisan Gerrymandering

Claims after Veith,” Election Law Journal, 3: 626-642.

Hirsch, Sam and Thomas E. Mann. 2005. “For Election Reform, a Heartening Defeat,” The New

York Times, November 11, 2005.

Issacharoff, Samuel. 2002. “Gerrymandering and Political Cartels.” Harvard Law Review, 116: 593.

Issacharoff, Samuel. and Richard H. Pildes. 1998. “Politics As Markets: Partisan Lockups of the

Democratic Process.” Stanford Law Review, 50: 643.

Jacobson, Gary. 2000. “Party Polarization in National Politics: The Electoral Connection.” In Po-

larized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era, ed. Jon R. Bond and Richard Fleisher.

Washington, D.C.: C.Q. Press.

Jacobson, Gary. (2003) “Terror, Terrain, and Turnout: Explaining the 2002 Midterm Elections.”

Political Science Quarterly, 118-1.

Jacobson, Gary and Samuel Kernell. 1983. Strategy and Choice in Congressional Elections, 2nd ed.

New Haven: Yale University Press.

Leib, Jonathan I. and Gary R. Webster. 1997. “On Enlarging the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Political Geography, 17-3: 319-329.

Lublin, David. 1997. The Paradox of Representation: Racial Gerrymandering and Minority Interests

in Congress. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lublin, David. 2004. The Republican South: Democratization and Partisan Change. Princeton, N.J.:

Princeton University Press.


Page 34: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Massey, Douglas L. and Nancy Denton. 1993. American Apartheid: Segregation and Making of the

Underclass. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Mayhew, David. 1974. Congress: The Electoral Connection. New Haven: Yale.

Monmonier, Mark. 2001. Bushmanders and Bullwinkles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Morrill, Richard L. 1981. Political Redistricting and Geographic Theory. Washington, D.C.: Associ-

ation of American Geographers.

Murphy, Dean. E. 2005. “Who Should Redistrict?” The New York Times, October 23, 2005.

Nadeau, Richard and Harold Stanley. 1993. “Class Polarization in Partisanship Among Southern

Whites, 1952-1990.” American Journal of Political Science 37-3: 900-919.

Neimi, Richard, Bernard Grofman, Carl Carlucci, and Thomas Hofeller. 1990. “Measuring Compact-

ness and the Role a Compactness Standard in a Test for Partisan and Racial Redistricting.” Journal

of Politics, 52: 1155-1181.

Orfield, Myron. 2002. American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality. Washington, D.C.:

Brookings Institution Press.

Pildes, Richard H. 2002. “Is the Voting Rights Law Now at War With Itself? Social Science and

Voting Rights in the 2000s.” North Carolina Law Review, 80: 1517.

Primo, David M., Matthew L. Jacobsmeier, and Jeffrey Milyo. 2007. “Estimating the Impact of State

Policies and Institutions with Mixed-Level Data.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly, v7, n4, pp.



Page 35: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Rosenthal, Alan. 1996. “State Legislative Development: Observations from Three Perspectives.”

Legislative Studies Quarterly, v21, n2, pp. 169-198.

Rush, Mark E. 2000. Does Redistricting Make A Difference? Partisan Representation and Electoral

Behavior. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Squire, Peverill. 1997. “Another Look at Legislative Professionalization an the California Assembly.”

Journal of Politics, v54, pp. 1026-54.

Stanley, Harold. 1987. Voter Mobilization and the Politics of Race: The South and Universal Suffrage,

1952-1984. Praeger.

Stanley, Harold and Richard Neimi. 2003. Vital Statistics on American Politics, 9th ed. CQ Press.

State Legislative Election Returns, 1967-2003, Thomas M. Carsey, William D. Berry, Richard G.

Niemi, Lynda W. Powell, and James M. Snyder, Release Version 4, ICPSR 21480.

Stonecash, Joseph. 2000. Class and Party in American Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Toobin, Jeffrey. 2003. “The Great Election Grab: When Does Gerrymandering Become a Threat to

Democracy?” The New Yorker, December 8.

Weber, Ronald E. 1995. “Redistricting and the Courts: Judicial Activism in the 1990’s,” American

Politics Quarterly, 23: 204-228.

Weber, Ronald E. 2005. “State Legislative Redistricting in 2003-2004: Emerging Trends and Issues

in Reapportionment,” The Book of the States, 37: 116-124.

Webster, Gerald R. 2004. “Representation, Geographic Districting, and Social Justice.” Journal of

Geography, 103-3: 111-126.


Page 36: Do Redistricting Principles and Practices Affect US State Legislative Electoral Competition?

Webster, Gerald R. 2004. “Evaluating the Geographic Compactness of Representational Districts.”

In WorldMinds: Geographic Perspectives on 100 Problems, ed. D.G. Janelle et. al. Netherlands:

Kluwer Academic Publishers.