Political polarization influencing where people live


Political polarization in the United States has increased over the past generation, pitting Americans against each other to unprecedented degrees. With the start of the 2022 midterm election cycle, one should ask: how far does mistrust go? Does it affect where people go and how they feel about their neighborhood?

Zumper surveyed 1,500 members of the general population to find out, and the results are sobering. In response to the question “Do you want to move to an area that does not correspond to your political leanings?” ยป, More people answered no (35.8%) than yes (34.6%), while 29.7% answered that they already lived in a region which does not correspond to their political convictions.

Respondents who identified as Democrats (39.9%) were more likely than Republicans (35.7%) to say they would not move to an area that did not match their political leanings, and more Democrats stated that they would not move to an area that did not match their political leanings than what they had said. Conversely, more Republicans said they would move to an area that did not match their political leanings (42.5%) than those who did not.

The percentage of people who would move to an area that does not match their political leanings decreases as respondents get older. In the 18-29 age group, 43.9% said they would, while only 30.2% of those 60 and over said they would.

Respondents also said that an area’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively impact their interest in settling there, with 38% saying it would, with 27.1% saying no and 35% saying it would depend on the details.

The percentage of people who said a region’s handling of the pandemic would negatively impact their interest in moving there declines as people age. In the 18-29 age group, 47.4% said dealing with the pandemic would negatively impact their interest, while 31.3% of those over 60 said it did. would have a negative impact on their interest.

Mask and vaccine warrants are also a sticking point, but only for Republicans. Only 44.8% of Republicans said they would move to an area that imposed a mask mandate of any kind, compared to 86.3% of Democrats. Vaccination warrants are slightly less popular than mask warrants among the two groups, with 37.7% of Republicans and 82.9% of Democrats saying they would move to an area with a vaccination warrant.

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