In order to address classic questions about democratic representation in countries with winner-take-all electoral districts, it is necessary to understand the distribution of political preferences across districts. Recent formal theory literature has contributed new insights into how parties choose platforms in countries with a continuum of heterogeneous districts. Meanwhile, increases in survey sample sizes and advances in empirical techniques have made it possible to characterize the distribution of preferences within and across electoral districts. This review addresses an emerging literature that builds on these new tools to explore the ways in which the geography of political preferences can help explain the parties that compete, the platforms and policies they choose, and even the rules under which they compete. Building on insights from economic and political geography, it pays special attention to electoral and policy biases that can emerge when there is an asymmetric distribution of preferences across districts.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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