Thursday, July 01, 2010

Public Opinion and Redistricting

Nate Persily

Joshua Fougere, Stephen Ansolabehere and I have placed on SSRN a draft of a paper to appear in the Election Law Journal and in Race, Reform, and Regulation of the Electoral Process: Recurring Puzzles in American Democracy (edited by Heather K. Gerken, Guy-Uriel E. Charles, and Michael S. Kang). No earth-shattering results in the paper, but I think it is the most comprehensive analysis to date of public attitudes (and nonattitudes) toward the redistricting process.

The paper -- titled Partisanship, Public Opinion, and Redistricting -- is available here.

The abstract appears below:

This paper analyzes recent survey data on Americans' attitudes concerning the redistricting process. We find, unsurprisingly, that a large share of the population has little knowledge about the redistricting process, but that residents living in a state with a recent redistricting controversy are more likely to hold opinions about the issue. Of those who do have opinions, their attitudes toward the redistricting process are reflective of their attitudes toward government generally. Members of the "out" party are more dissatisfied with the redistricting process when the "in" party controls the redistricting process, and satisfaction is generally greatest in states where government is divided between the parties. Consistent with such results, we also find Americans to be strongly supportive of vesting redistricting authority in an independent commission, as opposed to state legislatures.

Older Posts
Newer Posts