chapter  2
22 Pages

Racial Authenticity and Redistricting: A Comparison of Artur Davis’s 2000 and 2002 Congressional Campaigns


How was Davis able to turn a stunning defeat into a solid victory? Did he change his campaign strategy? Cultivate a new image? Tone down his crossover appeal with non-Black voters? In this chapter, Andra Gillespie and Emma Tolbert examine Artur Davis’s political transformation from loser to victor. Using in-depth interviews, redistricting data, and internal polling data, they fi nd that while Davis did not change his political style between 2000 and 2002, he did make some key strategic changes that enabled him to better position himself against Hilliard. More important, though, Davis benefi ted from a decennial redistricting eff ort-endorsed by the incumbent himself-that introduced new voters into the district who had no loyalties to Earl Hilliard and who were more receptive to Artur Davis’s message.