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Political Science Commons

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Models and Methods

2014

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Faculty Publications

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Partisan Sorting In The United States, 1972-2012: New Evidence From A Dynamic Analysis, Corey Lang, Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz Sep 2014

Partisan Sorting In The United States, 1972-2012: New Evidence From A Dynamic Analysis, Corey Lang, Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Faculty Publications

Whether Americans have “sorted” into politically like-minded counties and to what extent is hotly debated by academic and journalists. This paper examines whether or not geographic sorting has occurred and why it has occurred using a novel, dynamic analysis. Our findings indicate that geographic sorting is on the rise, but that it is a very recent phenomenon. In the 1970s and 1980s, counties tended to become more competitive, but by 1996 a pattern of partisan sorting had emerged and continued through the present. Results suggest this pattern is driven by Southern re-alignment and voting behavior in partisan stronghold counties. Lastly ...