Geography ETDs

Publication Date

9-1-2015

Abstract

Over 42 years and 22 US congressional elections between 1972 and 2014, Texas evolved from a state controlled by the Democratic Party since Reconstruction to one dominated by the Republican Party. This thesis examines the relationship between measures of district compactness and changing demographics (decreasing non-Hispanic White percentage and increasing Hispanic percentage) on a measure of electoral bias, as measured by a metric called distortion during this transition. Distortion is the difference between the percentage of seats won by a party with the percentage of votes it received in a statewide congressional election. Using a general linear regression model, the research finds that distortion decreases as compactness increases, while demographic variables do not significantly affect distortion.

Degree Name

Geography

Department Name

Geography

Level of Degree

Masters

First Advisor

Lippitt, Christopher

First Committee Member (Chair)

Xiao, Danqing

Second Committee Member

Rocca, Michael

Document Type

Thesis

Language

English

Keywords

Texas Redistricting Delay Partisan Bias compactness demographics

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