Characterizing Minority Voting Strength in Spatially Diverse Contexts
This chapter illustrates the various ways in which local demographic contexts shape minority voting strength. Its five case studies exemplify two contextual dimensions: spatial and compositional. Spatial refers to a population’s distinctive pattern of residence within a community (e.g., geographically concentrated vs. scattered). Compositional refers to a population’s distinctive demographic makeup (e.g., citizenship, age structure). The spatial arrangement and demographic composition of a community’s racial and ethnic minority residents may impose practical limitations on drawing districts. Each case study exemplifies how those limitations can impinge upon the possibility of meeting the first “Gingles” precondition (geographic compactness).