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The 2010 Midterm Elections: Signs and Portents for the Decennial Redistricting

  • Michael P. McDonald (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2011

The 2010 midterm elections are consequential not only in terms of the candidates who were elected to office, but also in terms of the government policies that they will enact. High on the list of important policies is the decennial practice of drawing new redistricting plans for legislative offices. A new census reveals population shifts that will result in a reallocation of congressional seats among the states through apportionment and—following U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the 1960s—a re-balancing of congressional and state legislative district populations within states that aims to give fast-growing areas more representation and slow-growing areas less. Of course, much more than an innocuous administrative adjustment occurs during the process of redistricting. The individuals who draw districts are keenly aware that district lines may affect the fortunes of incumbents, political parties, and minority voters' candidates of choice.

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Michael P. McDonald 2004. “A Comparative Analysis of U.S. State Redistricting Institutions.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 4 (4): 371–96.

Guillermo Owen , and Bernard Grofman . 1988. “Optimal Partisan Gerrymandering.” Political Geography Quarterly 7:522.

Frank R. Parker 1990. Black Votes Count. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Kenneth W. Schotts 2001. “The Effect of Majority–Minority Mandates on Partisan Gerrymandering.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (1): 120–35.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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