Home Daily Blitz What One Swing State Can Teach Us About Political Polarization In America

What One Swing State Can Teach Us About Political Polarization In America


thewashingtonpost-articleThe following is an excerpt from Kim Soffen, Ted Mellnik, Samuel Granados and John Muyskens | November 4, 2016 | Thewashingtonpost.com |

It’s no secret that city-dwellers tend to vote for Democrats.

This map shows how precincts in selected cities voted in 2008 — the last presidential election without an incumbent. In most cities, the urban core appears bright blue, and the surrounding rural areas lean more Republican. There are notable exceptions, including North Dakota’s red cities and left-leaning rural Massachusetts.

Precincts — which can include a few hundred to a few thousand voters — make it easier to spot this urban-vs.-rural disparity. These detailed neighborhood by neighborhood results make it clear how racial and socioeconomic differences play out at the ballot box.

For a window into how this polarization is affecting this year’s election, just look at North Carolina. It’s one of the most coveted battlegrounds in the country — RealClearPolitics puts Donald Trump up by just 0.8 points — and it’s facing a number of other contentious electoral battles. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, a supporter of the highly controversial law requiring transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their birth gender, is in a tight reelection battle. So is Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican with a narrow lead in his reelection contest, according to recent polling; his race could determine which party controls the Senate. And that’s not to mention the controversy surrounding the recently struck down voter ID laws.

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