Are Local Politics As Polarized As National?

A detailed new study finds clear and convincing evidence that, in sharp contrast to the extreme polarization of national politics and policy, most Democrat and Republican residents see very little difference on local issues. The findings provide a useful counterpoint to the dominant narrative of an increasingly divided nation. When it comes the places US citizens live and what they do to develop them, they are not nearly divided as over national issues.

The study, by Amalie Jensen of Princeton University, William Marble and Kenneth Scheve of Stanford University, and Matthew J. Slaughter of Dartmouth University, used data from recent YouGov surveys to examine the preferences of Democratic and Republican residents of eight U.S. metro areas (which includes the cities and suburbs): Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, Rochester, Seattle, and St. Louis. These metros are located in different regions of the country and have very different economic bases.

Download Study: City Limits to Partisan Polarization in the American Public

Read summarizing article published in CityLab

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