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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Why Republicans and Democrats Self-Segregate

Of the nation’s 3,113 counties (or county equivalents), just 303 were decided by single-digit margins — less than 10 percent. In contrast, 1,096 counties fit that description in 1992, even though that election featured a wider national spread.1 During the same period, the number of extreme landslide counties — those decided by margins exceeding 50 percentage points — exploded from 93 to 1,196, or over a third of the nation’s counties.
Bradley Jones at Pew:
Republicans and Democrats express sharply different preferences about their ideal communities and house sizes. And while large numbers of people in both parties say it is important to live in a community that is a good place to raise children, partisans diverge on whether it is important that a community is racially and ethnically diverse.
Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (65%) say they would prefer to live in a community where houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away.
By contrast, a majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (58%) would rather live in a community in which houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are in walking distance.
The ideological differences in community preferences are stark, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in September among 9,895 U.S. adults. Conservative Republicans are about twice as likely as liberal Democrats to prefer a community where the houses are larger and more widely spaced (71% vs. 35%). These overall patterns of opinion are little changed from 2017.

But Democrats and Democratic leaners are nearly 30 percentage points more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to say it is important to live in a community that is racially and ethnically diverse (77% vs. 48%). And while 42% of Republicans say it is important to live in a community where most people share their religious views, fewer Democrats (25%) say the same.