ERIC Number: EJ1110642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
ISSN: ISSN-1933 8341
Divided Wisconsin: Partisan Spatial Electoral Realignment
Zaniewski, Kazimierz J.; Simmons, James R.
Geography Teacher, v13 n3 p128-133 2016
When the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates head into the general election this fall, they will be courting votes from a statewide electorate that has dramatically shifted over time, mirroring the political polarization that is happening across the country. Over the last three decades, Wisconsin's political geography has evolved toward a spatial realignment that shows the Democrats increasingly dominant of the state's larger cities and a growing conservative counteraction in which the Republican Party dominates voting in suburban, exurban, small town, and rural Wisconsin. Many studies have identified a number of reasons for America's growing political divide: a growing partisan policy cleavage over major issues, choices people make about where they want to live and who they want to live near, campaigns and news sources that aim to drive deep wedges into political issues, economic upheaval, and a political system where blame and demonization take the place of civil debate and compromise. The changes in the political map of Wisconsin are driven by the same social forces that shape the electorate in southern Wisconsin and much of the nation: suburbanization, residential development in metro regions, the decline and resentment in many rural communities, and the attractiveness of cities to younger and more liberal populations.
Descriptors: Elections, Political Campaigns, Voting, Political Issues, Politics, Maps, Political Divisions (Geographic)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin