The growing divide
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Apr 08, 2004 at 07:45:16 AM EDT
Here's a few of his points in a latest:
The fastest growing kind of segregation in the United States isn't racial. It is the segregation between Republicans and Democrats.And from Timothy Noah on Slate:
The political division found by the Statesman and its statistical consultant, Robert Cushing, is a change from the recent past. From the end of World War II until the mid-1970s, U.S. counties became more and more politically mixed, based on presidential voting. Through the 1950s and '60s, Americans were more likely to live in a community with an even mixture of Republicans and Democrats.
In 1976, when Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford by only two percentage points, 26.8 percent of American voters lived in counties with landslide presidential election results, where one party had 60 percent or more of the vote.
Twenty-four years and six presidential elections later, when George Bush and Al Gore were virtually tied nationally, 45.3 percent of voters lived in a landslide county.
Bishop blames this heightened partisanship on the proliferation of "landslide counties." He defines a landslide county as one in which the presidential nominee of one party receives at least 60 percent of the vote. In 1976, 26.8 percent of American voters lived in landslide counties. By 2000, that proportion had nearly doubled, to 45.3 percent.On Bishop's blog, a reader notes that the statistics speak of voters, not residents, and this is a valid point. Who knows what 51% of the other people believe? It makes sense, not wanting to participate in a system of de facto minority defeats, that they don't even bother to vote if they live on the opposite side in a landslide county. If they did bother, the first thing they'd probably choose to do, if they could, would be to move to a place where their partisan vote wasn't so frustrated.
And it's getting worse. The GOP has a lot more landslide counties where the partisan imbalance continues to widen (939) than do the Democrats (158). But because the Democrats' landslide counties are much likelier to be more populous urban counties, the aggregate number of growing-landslide-county Democrats (15.2 million, or 14 percent of the national vote) comes out roughly the same as the aggregate number of growing-landslide-county Republicans (16.5 million, or 16 percent of the national vote).