America’s urban-rural divides

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Media Outlet: The Economist

Lee Drutman talked about increasing partisanship in an article from The Economist about the growing urban versus rural divide. 

Bill Bishop’s book “The Big Sort”, published in 2008, which drew attention to the way Americans are clustering in like-minded communities, conjures up images of Republican or Democratic voters moving house to be with people who vote like them, but that is not usually how it works. Instead, people tend to adopt the attitudes of the groups they cluster in. Palm Beach and Arlington are both wealthy neighbourhoods, but the world view of Trump supporters in Palm Beach is closer to West Virginia 03 than to upscale Arlington.
If this divide were just over things like what kind of health care government should provide, it would be easier to cross. But the rift goes deeper than that. “It has become socially unacceptable not to be a partisan,” says Lee Drutman, a political scientist at New America, a think-tank. The Pew Research Centre has found that a quarter of consistent conservatives and liberals would be unhappy if their children were to marry someone from the other side of the divide. 

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Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the program on political reform at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015).