-        redrawing of electoral districts to favor parties

-        states control districting

-        most states allow legislature to control the process

o     roughly 12 have independent commissions involved

-        Limits political competition

o     in 2002 midterms, only 4 incumbents defeated by non-incumbent challengers

o     less than 10% of races were won by less than 10% of the vote

-        Why vote if election is probably decided?


o     Narrow-Casting from the Pulpit and "Strategic Extremism" (Glaeser et al)[1]


-        median voter theory says parties should target message to median voter

-        Republican party gains greater support from regular church-goers than Democratic Party

o     how to communicate a message to regular church-goers but not alienate median voter

-        in states where half the population attends church regularly, church attendance is correlated with voting republican

o     when roughly half the population attends church regularly, and the church-going population leans right, the party can direct a separate message toward them

o     in states where most residents are regular church-goers, there is little effect on voting republican

o     cannot narrow-cast from the pulpit in those cases


-        estimate that model explains about 1/3 of the shift in voting patterns

Campaign Advertising and Negative Ads


-        Public dislikes negative advertising…

-        but negative ads seem to ‘inform’ voters


- Except for Swing Voters





[1] ­E. Glaeser, et al. "Strategic Extremism  Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious

Values" Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper Number 2044. Oct. 2004