The two parties today not only represent different political philosophies but find their core support in different kinds of communities. The nation has gone through a big sort, a sifting of people and politics into what is becoming two Americas. One is urban and Democratic, the other Republican, suburban and rural.
Although the split isn’t true in every case, divisions between city and countryside nationally are stark, widespread and rapidly growing.
[…] In the 1980 presidential race, Democratic and Republican counties on average had about the same number of voters. By 2000, however, the average Democratic county had three times as many voters as the average Republican county.
[…] In the country’s most partisan counties —- those where one party wins by more than 20 percentage points —- the split is overwhelming. In 2000, the average landslide Democratic county was eight times larger than the average landslide Republican county. In 1980, the average landslide Republican county was more populous than the average partisan Democratic county.
[…] Twelve of the 20 most Democratic counties […] are in metro areas, including the District of Columbia, the Bronx, San Francisco County, Philadelphia County and St. Louis County.
But out of the 115 counties with the strongest Republican support, only four are in metro areas —- one in Utah, another in Arizona, a third outside Atlanta and the fourth the president’s hometown of Midland.
They also have the list of the 100 most Democratic counties in the 2000 presidential election and the 100 most Republican counties in the 2000 presidential election.
Looking at those lists, a few things jump out. For example, 10 states are not represented in the two lists. These are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington.
Another is how heavily Republican these counties are compared to the Democratic counties. The last county on the Republican top 100 voted 81.3% for Bush in 2000. Only 10 counties were more Democratic than that and the 100th Democratic county was only 64.9% for Gore in 2000.
States with most number of partisan counties were: Texas (27), Nebraska (21), Utah (16) and Idaho (11). Of these, only 7 Texas counties were Democratic while all the rest were Republican. This means that 68 out of the top 100 Republican counties were located in these 4 states. I expected the others but Nebraska was a surprise to me.
The maximum number of Democratic counties were in the following states: Alabama (7 rural counties), California (7 urban/suburban counties), New Mexico (6 rural + 1 urban county) and Texas (7 rural counties).
Thirty-three states and Washington DC are represented in the Democratic top 100 while only 14 states are present in the Republican list.