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Your Turn: Are You Politically Prejudiced?

by Countable | 3.13.19

Recent research provided a fascinating guide to the most and least politically open-minded counties in the U.S., revealing the geography of partisan prejudice across the country.

The research — which The Atlantic commissioned from PredictWise, a polling and analytics firm — yielded interesting and perhaps surprising results.

Here’s the overall map of the U.S., with the colors reflecting areas of more or less political prejudice. You can search for your own county on The Atlantic’s website.

Source: The Atlantic

Tolerance was measured and assessed on the basis of respondents' negative feelings about people from the other side and the extent to which they denigrated or caricatured people with views different from their own.

The researchers found some patterns when it came to who was most likely to be more or less politically tolerant:

“In general, the most politically intolerant Americans, according to the analysis, tend to be whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan themselves. This finding aligns in some ways with previous research by the University of Pennsylvania professor Diana Mutz, who has found that white, highly educated people are relatively isolated from political diversity. They don’t routinely talk with people who disagree with them; this isolation makes it easier for them to caricature their ideological opponents. (In fact, people who went to graduate school have the least amount of political disagreement in their lives, as Mutz describes in her book Hearing the Other Side.) By contrast, many nonwhite Americans routinely encounter political disagreement. They have more diverse social networks, politically speaking, and therefore tend to have more complicated views of the other side, whatever side that may be.”

Nationwide, the research found Suffolk County, Massachusetts — which includes Boston — to be the most politically intolerant county, while the North Country, New York and Randolph, Onslow and Davidson counties in North Carolina were the most accepting of political differences.

The study also found that older respondents and people living in or near large cities “seem to be more likely to stereotype and disdain people who disagree with them politically.”

The data reveal where Democrats are more or less prejudiced against Republicans and vice versa. The following maps show both.

Source: The Atlantic

Source: The Atlantic

In general, the researchers found that the more people are exposed to ideas different from their own, the more likely they are to be tolerant of people who hold those ideas. Countable is meant to be a place that fosters such exposure and discussion, and we value our users’ role in helping us to provide a forum for a rich exchange of ideas.

What do you think?

How politically prejudiced or tolerant are you? Do you know many people with political views that differ from yours? Tell us what you think.

—Sara E. Murphy

(Image Credit: iStock.com / teddyandmia)

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