Who chooses whom? : gerrymandering U.S. Congressional districts and the erosion of the democratic ideal in the People's House
Robbins II, Michael.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The decline in electoral competition in the United States House of Representatives and the increase in polarization in the House are widely considered to be caused, in part, by redistricting. Redistricting is playing a lead role in denigrating the ideal set forth by our Founding Fathers in the "People's House," the House of Representatives. This thesis seeks to study this issue further by examining the decline in electoral competition and the increase in House polarization and attempts to explain whether redistricting is in fact playing a role and if so, what should be done about it.; The thesis first examines the history of redistricting in the United States. Analyzing numerous studies of Congressional competition, this paper finds that redistricting does in fact play a role in the increase in Congressional districts safe from electoral competition. Evaluating data on Congressional polarization, this paper also demonstrates that the House has become increasingly polarized due in large part to redistricting. This paper then establishes what constitutes an ideal Congressional district and suggests means to reform redistricting processes to produce model districts to better protect the democratic ideal of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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