Tag Archives: polarization

Societal Trend — Could Purple America be Disappearing?


Societal and political trends are important to donor and member recruitment activities for nonprofits and associations. Without question, the political divide is probably at its highest level since the Vietnam War. A recent article by David Wasserman highlights the extent of the current divide. In the article, Wasserman shares some eye-opening statistics related to our recent Presidential election, many of which are geographically based.

  • Of the nation’s 3,113 counties or county equivalents, just 303 or 9.7% were decided by single-digit margins. In 1992, 1,096 or 35.2% of counties were in that category. Over a third of the nation’s counties, 1,196 or 38.4% of counties had landslides where the margin exceeded 50 points. In 1992, there were only 93 or 3% of counties like this.
  • The electoral map is quite a sight; largely red in the center and blue on the coasts. In fact, the much-discussed 3 million popular vote difference attributed to Hillary Clinton was highly concentrated in New York and California, where she carried 6 million votes.
  • Additionally, 1/3 of Democrats in the House of Representatives come from three states – New York, Massachusetts, and California.

Wasserman notes that younger generations will be more polarized than ever as they enter voting age and will have rarely encountered opposing viewpoints depending on where they live. Perhaps the dynamics at Middlebury College is a harbinger of things to come.

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