SEGREGATION

Americans Live in Hyper-Partisan Areas

There’s a new type of de facto segregation in town, and it’s by political party. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has found that in 2008, 47.6 percent of Americans lived in “landslide counties,” or districts that voted Democratic or Republican by 20 percentage points or more—an increase of almost 20 percent in 30 years, when only 26.8 percent of Americans lived in these communities. The reason? Political analysts say the partisan bickering in Washington is a result of the hyper-partisan clustering of communities. And it turns out there’s not really any such thing as separation of church and politics: in 1980 Democrats and Republicans went to church in even numbers, but in 2008 church attendance had gone up for Republicans and declined among Democrats—a sign that people associate their religion with their politics.