Electoral district structure and political behavior
Engstrom, Richard Neal
Alford, John R.
Doctor of Philosophy
Assertions of the value of "traditional districting principles" are tested using survey data and contextual variables describing Congressional districts' geographic characteristics. Electoral district geography is found to have systematic relationships with citizen political behavior. District conformity to media market boundaries is found to affect citizen attentiveness to political campaigns as well as voter turnout. Some evidence is found to support the argument that district compactness matters for political behavior as well. These findings demonstrate that district shape matters in the political lives of citizens, and provides a better understanding of the particular implications district characteristics have for voters.