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The Forum

A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

Ed. by Disalvo, Daniel / Stonecash, Jeffrey

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.397

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.476
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.331

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Volume 8, Issue 2


The Limits of Partisan Gerrymandering: Looking Ahead to the 2010 Congressional Redistricting Cycle

Nicholas R Seabrook
Published Online: 2010-07-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1540-8884.1327

This article looks ahead to the 2010 congressional redistricting cycle, and makes the case that the concern over the pernicious effects of partisan redistricting has been significantly over-exaggerated. Those attempting to use partisan control of the apparatus of state government to influence future elections operate under a number of significant constraints, from legal and political factors that inhibit the redistricting process and frequently result in compromise or litigation, to geographical and structural factors that dictate the extent to which electoral boundaries can be effectively manipulated to produce deviations from partisan symmetry. Evidence from the 1990 and 2000 redistricting cycles indicates that the benefits of partisan gerrymandering, where present, are extremely susceptible to subsequent electoral swings. This casts considerable doubt on the utility of partisan gerrymandering as a mechanism for instituting long-term electoral bias in congressional elections.

Keywords: redistricting; U.S. house elections; electoral bias

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Published Online: 2010-07-26

Citation Information: The Forum, Volume 8, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1540-8884.1327.

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