Gerrymandering on Georgia's Mind: The Effects of Redistricting on Vote Choice in the 2006 Midterm Election

Authors


  • *Direct correspondence to M. V. Hood III, Department of Political Science, University of Georgia, 104 Baldwin Hall, Athens, GA 30602 〈th@uga.edu〉. M. V. Hood III will share all data and coding information for purposes of replication. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, LA. The authors thank Jay Barth for his helpful comments, and also Chris D'Elia and James Gore of USF St. Petersburg for providing the grant money that made this research possible.

Abstract

Objective. We make use of individual-level survey data from the 2006 midterm election in order to determine the degree to which redistricting affected the vote choice of whites residing in Georgia Congressional Districts 8 and 12.

Methods. A multivariate probit model was used to assess the probability of voting for the GOP House candidate among voters represented by the same incumbent before and after redistricting versus voters who had been newly drawn into one of these districts.

Results. Despite a national tide that favored the Democratic Party in the 2006 elections, redrawn whites were more likely to vote for the Republican challengers in the districts surveyed.

Conclusions. Our findings indicate that redistricting can be used to dampen the incumbency advantage. In addition, the findings of this research also speak to the continuing Republican realignment of white voters in the Deep South and to the recognition that the effects of redistricting are dependent on political context.

Ancillary