… Before the presidential election, I wrote an article pointing out that the homogeneity of “red” America is an illusion: Small and medium-size postindustrial U.S. towns routinely vote for Democrats — sometimes by very large margins. Few had noticed, because the largely rural counties in which these towns are located were often colored red on election-night maps. In fact, these counties are typically internally polarized, with a solidly Democratic downtown core around Main Street that is surrounded by Republican suburbs and rural areas. The Republican periphery has more voters who go to the polls at higher rates, and so the county is “red” overall.
This polarization only intensified in the most recent election. In this first of two posts, I take a closer look at the voting behavior of postindustrial towns in 2016. CONT.
Jonathan Rodden (Stanford), Monkey Cage