Torben Lütjen is Assistant Professor at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. In his current research, he analyzes the mechanisms behind the rise of ideological polarization in the US and the decline of ideological competition in Europe. The project is funded with a Schumpeter-Fellowship by the Volkswagen Foundation.
Robert Matschoß is a research associate at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. His research interests include political parties and elections, political communications and transatlantic relations.
Geographic sorting of the electorate along partisan lines has received increased attention by scholars following the publication of Bill Bishop’s and Robert Cushing’s The Big Sort (2008). The evidence presented in this paper stems from an original public opinion survey in two Wisconsin landslide counties. We find that the majority among migrants to these partisan strongholds have shared the partisanship of the respective political majority. Using logistic regression analysis, we show that partisanship as well as specific lifestyle preferences mattered in people’s decisions to migrate into these partisan strongholds. We also find that partisanship is a factor in potential out-migration: residential satisfaction is lower among the respective political minorities, and relevant shares of the political minority say they consider moving away for political reasons. Among the members of the minority who consider leaving the county about one third say they do so because they dislike the politics of the people there. Our findings on the two counties, each a prototypical Democratic and Republican stronghold, lend further support to the Big Sort hypothesis.
Abramowitz, Alan. 2010. The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Bickford, Susan. 2000. “Constructing Inequality: City Spaces and the Architecture of Citizenship.” Political Theory 28: 355–376.
Gimpel, James G., and Iris S. Hui. 2013. “Seeking Compatible Neighbors: Partisan Composition, Neighborhood Evaluation and Residential Sorting.” Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 29–September 1.
Hawley, George. 2014. Causes and Consequences of the Geographic Partisan Sort in the United States. New York: Routledge.
Hui, Iris. 2013. “Who is Your Preferred Neighbor? Partisan Residential Preferences and Neighborhood Satisfaction.” American Politics Research 41: 997–1021.
Jagdozinski, Wolfgang, and Steffen Kühnel. 1990. „Zur Schätzung der relativen Effekte von Issueorientierung, Kandidatenpräferenz und langfristiger Parteibindung auf die Wahlabsicht.“ In Wahlen, Parteieliten, politische Einstellungen: Neuere Forschungsergebnisse, edited by Kartl Schmitt, 5–63. Frankfurt a. M. et al.: Peter Lang.
Klinkner, Philip A. 2004. “Red and Blue Scare: The Continuing Diversity of the American Electoral Landscape.” The Forum 2: Iss. 2, Article 2.
Klofstad, Casey A., Rose McDermott, and Peter K. Hatemi. 2013. “The Dating Preferences of Liberals and Conservatives.” Political Behavior 35: 519–538.
Lang, Corey, and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz. 2013. “Partisan Sorting in the U.S. States, 1972–2012: New Evidence from a Dynamic Analysis.” Paper presented at the 13th Annual State Politics & Policy Conference in Iowa City, May 23–25, 2013.
Magleby, David B., Candice J. Nelson, and Mark C. Westlye. 2011. “The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited.” In Facing the Challenge of Democracy: Explorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation, edited by Paul Sniderman and Benjamin Highton, 238–263. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Magleby, David B., Candice J. Nelson, and Mark C. Westlye. 2011. “The Myth of the Independent Voter Revisited.” In Facing the Challenge of Democracy: Explorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation, edited by Paul Sniderman and Benjamin Highton, 238–263. Princeton: Princeton University Press.10.1515/9781400840304-012)| false
Massey, Douglas S., Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina. 2009. “The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626: 74–90.
Massey, Douglas S., Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina. 2009. “The Changing Bases of Segregation in the United States.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626: 74–90.10.1177/0002716209343558)| false
McDonald, Ian. 2011. “Migration and Sorting in the American Electorate: Evidence From the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.” American Politics Research 39: 512–533.10.1177/1532673X10396303)| false
Motyl, Matt, Ravi Iyer, Shigehiro Oishi, Sophie Trawalter, and Brian A. Nosek. 2013. “How Ideological Migration Geographically Segregates Groups.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 51: 1–14.10.1016/j.jesp.2013.10.010)| false
Sussell, Jesse. 2013. “New Support for the Big Sort Hypothesis: An Assessment of Partisan Geographic Sorting in California, 1992–2010.” PS Political Science & Politics 46: 768–773.10.1017/S1049096513001042)| false
Tam Cho, Wendy K., James G. Gimpel, and Iris Hui. 2012. “Voter Migration and the Geographic Sorting of the American Electorate.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers: n. pag.10.1080/00045608.2012.720229)| false
Corresponding authors: Torben Lütjen and Robert Matschoß, Institut für Deutsches und Internationales Parteienrecht und Parteienforschung (PRuF), Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, e-mail: (Torben Lütjen); (Robert Matschoß)