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Racial Redistricting and African-American Representation: A Critique of "Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?"

David Lublin
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 93, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 183-186
DOI: 10.2307/2585769
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2585769
Page Count: 4
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Racial Redistricting and African-American Representation: A Critique of "Do Majority-Minority Districts Maximize Substantive Black Representation in Congress?"
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Abstract

Contrary to Cameron, Epstein, and O'Halloran's article (1996), (1) racial redistricting remains vital to the election of African Americans to the U.S. House, and (2) the tradeoff between black descriptive and substantive representation is actually greater in the South than in the North. Substantive and methodological errors explain why they arrived at their findings. Specifically, their analysis ignores the effect of the presence of Latinos on the election of African Americans. Ironically, due to the very policy assessed in the article, Cameron, Epstein, and O'Halloran's data set does not allow them to examine the link between the racial composition of a district and the ideology of its representative. In addition, they do not consider that racial redistricting not only changes the aggregation of seats into votes but also indirectly boosts the Republican share of votes and seats.

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