Strategic Voting and Legislative Redistricting Reform: District and Statewide Representational Winners and Losers
Political elites are generally reluctant to alter the status quo unless a change will benefit them. Scholars have found that institutions, and the rules governing them, tend to evolve in ways that maintain equilibrium, preserving the status of winners. Are voters—when presented the opportunity—more likely than elites to alter political institutions? Using survey data, the authors explore mass support in the American states for changing how legislative districts are drawn. They find evidence that representational losers at statewide and district levels are more likely to vote for reforms to create nonpartisan redistricting in ballot issue contests, while electoral winners oppose reform. They argue that ordinary voters—like elected officials—may exhibit a similar instrumental rationale, using a self-interested calculus when serving as policy makers for a day. Beyond theorizing about conditions under which the mass public might engage in strategic voting, the analysis has implications for practical election reform efforts in the American states.
Caroline J. Tolbert, Daniel A. Smith, and John C. Green. "Strategic Voting and Legislative Redistricting Reform: District and Statewide Representational Winners and Losers" Political Research Quarterly 62.1 (2009): 92-109.
This document is currently not available here.