Demography, Politics, and Partisan Polarization in the United States, 1828–2016

  • David Darmofal
  • Ryan Strickler

Part of the Spatial Demography Book Series book series (SPDE, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. David Darmofal, Ryan Strickler
    Pages 1-13
  3. David Darmofal, Ryan Strickler
    Pages 83-100
  4. David Darmofal, Ryan Strickler
    Pages 101-121
  5. David Darmofal, Ryan Strickler
    Pages 123-141
  6. David Darmofal, Ryan Strickler
    Pages 143-148

About this book


This book examines the geography of partisan polarization, or the Reds and Blues, of the political landscape in the United States. It places the current schism between Democrats and Republicans within a historical context and presents a theoretical framework that offers unique insights into the American electorate. The authors focus on the demographic and political causes of polarization at the local level across space and time. This is accomplished with the aid of a comprehensive dataset that includes the presidential election results for every county in the continental United States, from the advent of Jacksonian democracy in 1828 to the 2016 election. In addition, coverage applies spatial diagnostics, spatial lag models and spatial error models to determine why contemporary and historical elections in the United States have exhibited their familiar, but heretofore unexplained, political geography. Both popular observers and scholars alike have expressed concern that citizens are becoming increasingly polarized and, as a consequence, that democratic governance is beginning to break down. This book argues that once current levels of polarization are placed within a historical context, the future does not look quite so bleak. Overall, readers will discover that partisan division is a dynamic process in large part due to the complex interplay between changing demographics and changing politics.


American electorate Democrats and Republicans Demographic and political causes of polarization Geography of partisan polarization Presidential election results 1828-2016 Reds and Blues Political landscape in the United States. Elections in the United States

Authors and affiliations

  • David Darmofal
    • 1
  • Ryan Strickler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceColorado State University PuebloPuebloUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-03999-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-04001-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site