“Kagan Wants Proof Gerrymandering Harms Both Parties. Here It Is.”

A new column of mine in Slate, based on my new paper with Chris Warshaw.

In a nutshell, we found that Kagan was right. A party disadvantaged by gerrymandering fails to contest more districts. The candidates it does nominate have weaker credentials. Donors give less money to these candidates. And voters are less inclined to support them. Moreover, these effects are statistically significant at both the congressional and statehouse levels and hold no matter how gerrymandering is measured. The effects are substantively quite large too. A 1 standard deviation rise in gerrymandering, for example, is linked to about a 5 percentage point drop in the targeted party’s share of campaign contributions. It’s also tied to roughly a point decline in relative candidate quality, as measured by incumbency or having previously won another office.

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