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City limits to partisan polarization in the American public

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2021

Amalie Jensen
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
William Marble
Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Kenneth Scheve*
Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
Matthew J. Slaughter
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:


How pervasive is partisan sorting and polarization over public policies in the American public? We examine whether the barriers of partisan sorting and polarization seen in national politics extend to important local policies that shape economic development. To describe the extent of partisan sorting and polarization over local development policies, we employ conjoint survey experiments in representative surveys of eight US metropolitan areas and a hierarchical modeling strategy for studying heterogeneity across respondents. We find that strong partisans are sorted by party in some of their policy opinions, but rarely polarized. The same voters who disagree about national issues have similar preferences about local development issues suggesting a greater scope for bipartisan problem solving at the local level.

Original Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Political Science Association

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