How polarized is your city?
From Daily Data, October 7, 2016
It is no secret that U.S. political discourse has become increasingly polarized over the past few decades. Liberals and conservatives have drifted further apart, entrenching themselves and feeling increasingly unable to understand or relate to people on the other side of the spectrum. This reality is reflected in Congress: since 1980, liberal and conservative MoCs have grown 63% more polarized.
But what about our cities? Do you feel your city is polarized, or homogenous in its ideology? We decided to look at the biggest cities in the country, and rank them from most to least polarized. In order to do that, we calculated the standard deviation of donor ideology - the average distance between any two donors - for each city. Here's what we found.
The most polarized city in the U.S. is...Green Bay, WI!
Wisconsin has been consistently found to be one of the most polarized states in the country, and nowhere is it more visible than in Green Bay. Of the city's 2,880 donors who gave to federal candidates since 2008, 51% gave liberal, and 49% gave conservative. And on a scale of 20 points, the average ideological distance between two donors for the city is 8.7 points. This means Green Bay is 320% more polarized than the least polarized city in the country.
The least polarized city in the U.S. is...Berkeley, CA!
Berkeley has long been considered the most liberal city in one of the most liberal areas in the country. The city's history of civil rights activism and social progressiveness has made it a hotbed for counter-culture for over 50 years. This is reflected in its political giving: of the city's 13,900 donors who gave to federal candidates since 2008, an astonishing 98% gave liberal. The average ideological distance between two donors is a mere 2.8 points out of 20.
But what about on the conservative side? Which city is the most homogenously conservative?
The least polarized conservative city in the U.S. is...Midland, TX!
Midland, a city of roughly 100,000 people, is at the heart of oil country. It is most famous for being the hometown of George H. W. Bush, Barbara Bush, and their son Jeb! Of Midland's 2,838 donors who gave to federal candidates since 2008, 84.5% gave conservative, an astronomical figure given that most big cities skew liberal. The average ideological distance between donors in the city is 6.1 points out of 20.
What about your city? Here is the full list of every city in the US with 1,000 donors or more since 2008, ranked by polarization >>> LINK
#1. Green Bay, WI: 51.8% liberal; 48.2% conservative. Ideological gap: 8.71 points.
#254. Midland, TX: 15.5% liberal; 84.5% conservative. Ideological gap: 6.09 points.
#295. Honolulu, HI: 81.8% liberal; 18.2% conservative. Ideological gap: 5.47 points.
#378. Berkeley, CA: 98% liberal; 2% conservative. Ideological gap: 2.77 points.