Redistricting and Polarization
Micah Altman & Michael P. McDonald, "Redistricting and Polarization" in Thurber J, Yoshinaka A (eds)., American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization. Cambridge University Press; 2015.
38 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 1, 2015
We review how the ideological polarization of members of the House of Representatives (elite polarization) is affected by: ● sorting of parties’ incumbents into more ideologically compatible districts, ● replacement of incumbents by more ideologically extreme successors, ● the drawing of more ideologically extreme districts. ● We show there are fewer competitive congressional districts – having a near balance of Democrats and Republicans – following redistricting. ● We show more competitive districts can be drawn without sacrificing other values, such as compactness or minority representation. ● We discuss the prospects for redistricting reform.
Keywords: redistricting, polarization
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