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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Uncommon Knowledge

Heavy guilt, light lunch

And other surprising insights from the social sciences

Gerrymandered but true

It’s generally assumed that politicians will say anything to get elected. However, a recent analysis of the infamous redistricting of Texas in 2003—when Republicans redrew the boundaries of congressional districts to undermine the reelection of white Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation—suggests they’re more likely to stick to their guns than we realize. After the redistricting, there was no significant change in the voting positions of these Democrats to accommodate their new district constituency. In other words, they stayed who they were, ideologically speaking, even if that worsened their chances of reelection.

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