Skip to content
CityLab
Justice

The Real Reason Cities Lean Democratic

How politics are inseparable from density, and what this means for Republicans.
relates to The Real Reason Cities Lean Democratic
Chris Howard

Colleague Sommer Mathis put up a couple of telling maps last week after the election illustrating the Republican Party’s urban problem. Invariably, America’s metropolitan counties are the blue ones. The whole rest of the country, more or less, leans red. If you’re a liberal, these maps spatially look a bit terrifying, even if their underlying lesson bodes poorly for the GOP.

Such maps, after all, portray space, not people. But in modern America, the men with the most land no longer wield the most power. In fact, this election appears to have been decided by those of us who live the most tightly packed together. To appreciate that reality – and what it means for Republicans going forward – it’s helpful to look at our classic red-and-blue landscape through the lens of density.