The New Segregation: This Time It's Political

The US is dividing into like-minded enclaves
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2008 9:46 AM CDT
A "Hillary for President" yard sign is stuck in the snow in Tipton, Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007.    (AP Photo/David Lienemann)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The good news? Apathy is on the decline. The bad news? The new political activism is tearing the country apart, writes Gregory Rodriguez in the Los Angeles Times, with political divides turning into geographic ones, too. The country is segregating itself according to politics, moving to areas full of like-minded people. In 1976, only 38% of counties saw partisan landslides of 20% or more; in 2004, 60% did.

Part of that change is driven by congressional gerrymandering, but people are also moving into political echo chambers. The result is fewer moderates, a decline in real dialogue—less than 25% regularly talk with ideological opponents—and a static, consensus-deprived nation. (Read more partisanship stories.)