Districting, Redistricting, and Cadidate Selection 1. Districts: Geographic areas from which members of the house are elected 1. Define Constituency 1. Geographic 2. Re-Election 3. District Groups 2. How created and changed? 1. States apportioned representation by Census 1. Apportionment v. Districting 1. Apportionment determines how many representatives each state gets 1. Done by Congress using Census population data 2. Undercounted groups lead to unequal representation 2. Districting determines where the lines within the state will be drawn 1. Done by the states using various methods, following certain legal principles 2. Redistricting occurs at least every 10 years 3. Non-political (legal) principles 1. One person, one vote 1. Equal Voting Power 1. Average District Size: 645k 2. Smallest District: 493k (WY-At Large) 3. Largest District: 902k (MT- At Large) 4. Population is one form of equality 2. Equal Population 3. Does not Dilute Minority Voting Power 1. Dilutive Racial Gerrymandering 1. Dilute the power of racial minorities 2. Drawing district lines to maximize representation of one group over another 1. Party 2. Race 3. Incumbent 2. Example 2. Contiguity 1. Spatial - How spread out the district is. Ideal: Circle 2. Economic 3. Political 1. Maximize partisan advantage 2. Maximize incumbent advantage 3. State Legislatures make the decisions 4. Example: Texas Redistricting 4. Social 5. A non-political principle 4. Also political principles 2. Redistricting occurs at least every 10 years 3. Congressional Districts and the Quest to Represent 1. National party Goals 1. Create a house and Senate majority 1. Hold seats currently held by party 2. Capture seats currently held by opposition 2. Convince incumbents to stay on 3. Convince quality candidates to run 4. Requires cooperation of individual candidates in each state and district 2. Incumbent advantage 1. Incumbents are rarely defeated 1. Over 75% of incumbents seeking re-election win 2. In 200,2002, 2004, and 2006, it has been well over 90% 2. Aside from scandal, it is hard to beat an incumbent 3. Open seats are much more competitive 3. New Districts 4. Open seats 5. Strategic and purposive behavior 1. Incumbents try to scare off challengers 2. Potential challengers are hard to find when an incumbent is in the race 3. Incumbents who decide not to run are concerned about losing 4. Good candidates more likely to appear in open seat races 3. Primary Politics 1. Primary Elections 1. Elections in which parties choose their candidates 2. Close primary: Voters must declare party affliation 3. Open primary: Voters can choose either party at time of election 4. Blanket primary: candidates for both parties are listed on same ballot
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