Congress requires states to draw single-member districts.
A healthy degree of party unity among Democrats and Republicans has deteriorated into bitter partisan warfare.
I don’t believe in a golden mean; I don’t believe you find policy wisdom between two polar points. I don’t dismiss that possibility, but I look at the platform that’s so ideologically based, that’s so dismissive of facts, of evidence, of science, and it’s frankly hard to take seriously.
But presidential approval also became a surrogate measure of national unity and patriotism.
Votes in federal elections are cast and counted in a highly decentralized and variable fashion, with no uniform ballots and few national standards.
The increase in straight-ticket party voting in recent years means that competitive congressional races can tip one way or the other depending on the showing of the candidates at the top of the ticket.
In addition to the decline in competition, American politics today is characterized by a growing ideological polarization between the two major political parties.
Presidents are elected not by direct popular vote but by 538 members of the Electoral College.
Responsibility for overseeing the implementation of election law typically resides with partisan officials, many with public stakes in the election outcome.
Partisanship particularly increased after the 1994 elections and then the appearance of the first unified Republican government since the 1950s.