K-Means Redistricting

U.S. Congressional districts are today drawn with the aim of maximizing the electoral advantage of the state’s majority party, subject to some constraints, including compactness (which can be measured in numerous ways) and a “one person, one vote” standard. What if, instead of minimizing population variance across districts, we aimed to minimize the mean distance between … Continue reading

Dimensionality in Congress

Update: A revised version of this paper, given as a poster at the 2011 Summer Meeting of the Society for Political Methodology, is available here (PDF).   In collaboration with Jacob Montgomery and John Aldrich, I am interested in understanding the relationship between observed (measured) and unobserved (true) dimensionality in Congress. In an ongoing project, … Continue reading

Partisan structure in online social networks

As part of a continuing project which makes use of data from the social microblogging service Twitter, I presented a paper at the 2010 MPSA in which I derived inferences about elite partisanship and ideology from only the patterns of connections between Twitter users. That is, given only knowledge of which of Twitter’s millions of users were … Continue reading

Party control and political agendas

At the 2010 annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, I presented a paper in which I used a time-series clustering algorithm to identify eras in Congress based on the substantive nature of the Congressional agenda. I found that it was possible to correctly identify changes in party control in the Senate and House, … Continue reading