Quoted in 538 article about House size

Very pleased with this article by Geoffrey Skelley at FiveThirtyEight: “How The House Got Stuck at 435 Seats.” The author interviewed me for the piece, and references my work and that of coauthors, including Rein Taagepera, the discoverer of the cube root law of assembly size.

There is also a good visualization tool for how each state would be over- or under-represented with various House sizes.

7 thoughts on “Quoted in 538 article about House size

  1. I got censored for leaving a link in the comments of the post to a description of the seat-product model, but I fear that is basically my fault for “spamming”, or bringing up how 538 elides issues of proportional representation in the US before too often.


    • I enjoy the analysis at 538 (on the site and in their podcast) but am frequently frustrated at their ongoing lack of serious discussion on the topic of PR and what the real pathologies of the electoral system are. They get close, and at least note the minoritarian implications, but never quite get beyond that level of discussion,


      • Steven, yes, they do seem to dodge the issue. I did discuss it briefly with Skelly, but as I commented earlier (appearing below), I can’t fault him too much with this specific article, given its focus. In terms of general coverage, yes, it would be nice if they’d do something to signal that we need not take the House (or Senate) electoral system as if there weren’t better options.


  2. Cool Matthew Shugart is quoted in the article, what an honor, it would have been nice if the article had mention using multiple member districts to elect members of the House using either an open party list system or single transferable vote system, then there would be no need for a primary system anymore.

    What is the news on India’s new parliament, and how big is India’s parliament going to increase?


    • Yes, it would have been nice. But that is not what the article is about, so I can’t fault them too much.

      (Re India: no idea. If anyone knows, I hope they update with a comment at the planting on that topic.)


  3. Thank you, Matthew, for your prompt to this article! Very useful for my university paper on the size of the US House of Representatives!


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