Constituency Building in Multimember Districts: Collusion or Conflict?
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2004
Journal of Politics
Volume 66, Issue 1, pages 136–156, February 2004
How to Cite
Crisp, B. F. and Desposato, S. W. (2004), Constituency Building in Multimember Districts: Collusion or Conflict?. Journal of Politics, 66: 136–156. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2508.2004.00145.x
- Issue published online: 13 JAN 2004
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2004
- Manuscript submitted October 31, 2002 Final manuscript received April 16, 2003
The vast majority of what we know about building prospective electoral constituencies is confined to single-member district systems. However, most legislators are elected in multimember districts. Given that multiple incumbents represent the same voters, how do legislators decide whom they should target as prospective constituents? We build a general model of this decision and test it with travel data for 100 legislators elected in a single, nationwide district. We find that incumbents protect their existing supporters and avoid bailiwicks dominated by others. We conclude by deducing hypotheses about party system effects on incumbents’ decision making and the level of electoral conflict.