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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Partisan Bubbles

Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses Trump's legacy.

Gus Wezerek, Ryan D. Enos and Jacob Brown at NYT:
More than half of Republicans believe that last year’s election was stolen from Donald Trump. Rather than reject claims of election fraud, Republican lawmakers have used the premise that the election was stolen to justify restrictions on voting.

Mr. Trump most likely deserves much of the blame for the widespread belief among Republicans that the election was illegitimate. But there’s another reason so many Republicans might not believe that Joe Biden won: They don’t live near people who voted for him.

Surveys have shown that Americans’ animosity toward the opposing political party is higher than it has been in decades. At the same time, we’ve found that geographic political segregation has increased over the past 10 years. Could the two trends be connected?

“It’s a lot easier to demonize people on the other end of the political spectrum if you don’t personally know many of them,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. “That’s not a healthy situation for the country.”

Earlier this year, we published a study that measured how politically isolated Democrats and Republicans have become. Starting with a dataset containing the address of nearly every registered voter in the United States, we estimated each voter’s political affiliation based on which party the voter registered with, demographics and election results. We used that data to create the maps here.

We measured political isolation by looking at each voter’s thousand closest neighbors. For about one in five Republicans, and two in five Democrats, less than a quarter of their neighbors belong to the opposite political party.