Political Gerrymandering and the Courts

By Bernard Grofman | Go to book overview

7
The Swing Ratio as a Measure of Partisan Gerrymandering

Richard G. Niemi

In a previous paper ( Niemi, 1985) I argued that if the Supreme Court is to consider squarely the question of political gerrymandering, "sooner or later it will have to take a position on the significance of the relationship between votes and seats won by each political party" (p. 191). If in doing so the Court holds to its frequently stated argument against proportional representation (reiterated in Davis v. Bandemer, 106 S.Ct 2797 ( 1986), p. 2809), then facile comparisons--that a party won 58% of the vote but only 52% of the seats--are inadequate. So the question arises, how can one look at the seats-votes relationship without reducing it to a question of proportional representation?

Political scientists have developed such a way--now generally referred to as the swing ratio. Though the idea originated as the "cube law" some 40 years ago, the swing ratio is a relatively new concept as it is applied to political districting, and there are a number of problems about its use in this context. But because the seats-votes relationship is at the heart of the gerrymandering issue, I continue to pursue its possible applicability. In this paper I describe the swing ratio, drawing heavily on a previous description ( Niemi, 1985), but showing for the first time the swing ratio for the New Jersey legislature at the time of Karcher v. Daggett. I then discuss the applicability of the concept to tests of political gerrymandering.


THE SWING RATIO: A DESCRIPTION

The swing ratio is the rate at which seats change as votes change. More formally, it is the change in the proportion of seats won by a

-171-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Political Gerrymandering and the Courts
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 340

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.