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What Makes a Dense Urban County Vote Republican?

The biggest U.S. cities are still Democratic strongholds, but new research sheds light on why some of them aren't.
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Jo Ann Snover /

We’re all familiar with the map of America’s “red” and “blue” states. But what’s less familiar and certainly less well understood is how political allegiances break down inside smaller jurisdictions within those states.  

That’s why a new study of voting patterns inside counties in and around the country's largest metro areas is so important. The study, by University of Dayton political scientist Joshua Ambrosius and published in the Journal of Urban Affairs this month, examines the past four presidential elections (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) to divine the factors that shape voting patterns and political leanings within America’s urban areas.