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Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship

Eric McGhee | September 2008


Critics of the state legislature contend that its pattern of gridlock—as exemplified by the current budget impasse—can be traced to the “safe seats” it drew for itself in the 2001 redistricting process. Redistricting reform is often suggested as the right prescription for these legislative ills. This report analyzes in detail the effects of the 2001 redistricting on legislative behavior, voting patterns, and partisanship. It concludes that if increased bipartisanship is what critics want, redistricting reform may not be the optimal way to attain it.

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