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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, November 16, 2018

All Politics is Local, Except When It's National

In Defying the Odds, we discuss congressional elections as well as the presidential race

Ronald Brownstein at CNN:
So much for the old rule that all politics is local.
The results of last week's election demonstrated how powerfully national trends now shape election outcomes in every region. The election produced remarkably consistent divides along demographic and geographic lines in states as diverse as Arizona, Georgia and Texas on one side, and Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on the other. Though some important regional differences remained, voters who shared the same characteristics or resided in similar places largely voted the same way no matter what state they lived in.
In virtually every state, Democrats last Tuesday displayed a clear advantage in densely populated, culturally and racially diverse white-collar metropolitan areas, while Republicans relied on elevated margins in the preponderantly white, religiously traditional, smaller places beyond them. In almost all cases, the outcome in each state was determined less by how much they varied from that persistent pattern than by how much of each group was present in the state's electorate to begin with.
The continued nationalization of American politics threatens greater polarization and social tension as the lines harden between these two distinct political coalitions. But paradoxically, it means that the party that can generate the most exceptions to these solidifying trends may be the one most likely to control Congress and the White House.

Whether measured by demography or geography, the 2018 election produced remarkably consistent patterns.