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In These Outlier Congressional Districts, Density Doesn’t Equal Democrats

Across the U.S., denser districts in Congress tend to be more Democratic, and sparser ones more Republican. But there are a few exceptions with their own personalities, from Staten Island to Bernie Sanders land.
Representative Dan Donovan, center, listens to participants as he attends a property tax protest rally in the Staten Island borough of New York, Saturday, June 23, 2018.
Representative Dan Donovan, center, listens to participants as he attends a property tax protest rally in the Staten Island borough of New York, Saturday, June 23, 2018.Craig Ruttle/AP

CityLab’s recent analysis of the 2018 U.S. Congressional battle found a powerful connection between density and politics. The closer together people in a congressional district live, the more likely that district is to support Democrats, while districts where people life farther apart tend to be represented by Republicans.

Predominantly suburban districts are highly competitive this election, with dozens of seats—mostly held by Republicans—in play. The hundreds of predominantly rural or urban seats are less competitive, with rural seats tending to be safely Republican and urban ones safely Democratic.