PS: Political Science & Politics


Re-Drawing the Line on District Competition

Michael P.  McDonald  a1
a1 George Mason University

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I am grateful for the opportunity to respond to Abramowitz, Alexander, and Gunning's (2006b) rejoinder to my critique of their article appearing in this same issue entitled “Don't Blame Redistricting for Uncompetitive Elections” (2006a). We should have had a scholarly debate that informed the profession and raised interesting questions in one of the widest read journals. Instead, Abramowitz, Alexander, and Gunning mischaracterize my arguments as if this was a political talk show debate, and it is telling that they never directly quote me in their rejoinder. The few sources cited in support of their methodology, upon close inspection, provide no support to their measurement choice or findings. I hope that fair-minded readers will carefully evaluate all material, including cited sources, to reach their own judgment. I conclude this article with some thoughts that I hope shed light on the low levels of electoral competition that Abramowitz, Alexander, and Gunning and I agree characterize current congressional elections.