Voters and elections
Impacts of being a rational actor
– We pay attention to information that matters most
for our daily life
– Most people don’t think political information is in
– Voters have low levels of information
How we vote--
Heuristics or Cognitive Shortcuts– rather than getting
full information we use and indicator that can
approximate our preferences.
– Follow opinion of someone we trust
Split- Ticket Voting– vote for different parties in
– Strategic reasons– don’t want government getting too
powerful (not a lot of evidence to support this theory)
– Sincere voting– responding to differences between contests
and applying different criteria. I.E., We want different things
from a congressperson, a president, a judge, and a county
Impacts on elections
– Partisanship as a cognitive shortcut (or heuristic)
Always vote a particular party
– Issues as a cognitive shortcut (or heuristic)
Vote for the person who has the same opinion as me on
Common heuristic issues include abortion, gay rights,
– Candidate characteristics
The tall guy always wins
Charismatic and photogenic candidates
How we vote--
Heuristics or Cognitive Shortcuts
What about Split Ticket Voting?
Prospective Voting– what kind of politician will the
– Political Issues
– Other reasons
Retrospective Voting– how good a job did the
politician do last term? Is my life better or worse?
a controversial form of redistricting in which
electoral district or constituency boundaries are
manipulated for an electoral advantage.
Wesberry v. Sanders (1964)
– Districts must be relatively equal in population.
– Districts must be contiguous
– Districts must be compact
Davis v. Bandemer (1985)
– Drawing districts based on party is OK.
Thornburg v. Ginges (1986)
– Cannot draw lines to unfairly dilute minority representation.
– Race cannot be the ONLY factor in drawing majority-
a controversial form of redistricting in which electoral
district or constituency boundaries are manipulated for
an electoral advantage.
The Drama part I
The Drama part II
Click the underlined words
to hear the NPR stories on
the Texas redistricting story!
Packing and Cracking
Cracking– Breaking up
one group so that they
don’t have a chance of
winning a majority
a group in one district to
dilute their impact across
the district is evenly split.
But after cracking
Ties to elites, fundraising
Allow for retrospective
Political power/ Seniority in
The Big Dig