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The Partisan Impact of Congressional Redistricting: The Case of Texas, 2001–2003


  • *Direct correspondence to Seth C. McKee, Department of Government and International Affairs, USF St. Petersburg, 140 7th Ave. S., St. Petersburg. FL 33701 〈〉. Seth C. McKee will share all data and coding information for purposes of replication. The authors thank Charles Eckstein, Research Specialist for the Texas Legislative Council, for providing the data for this project.


Objective. In this article we assess the partisan effects of five plans proposed by Republican state legislators during Texas' 2003 congressional redistricting.

Methods. Using the JudgeIt statistical program developed by Gelman and King (2001), and data provided by the Texas Legislative Council, we assess the bias, responsiveness, and the probability that the Democratic Party wins each district for each plan.

Results. All five Republican plans, including the one enacted, are strongly biased in favor of the Republican Party.

Conclusions. Texas' Democratic legislators were wise to use every parliamentary maneuver available to block the enactment of a new congressional map. Beyond affecting the partisan makeup of the Texas delegation, Texas' redistricting has national implications because it adds to the GOP's narrow majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.