The urban/rural political divide
Policies dating to the 1930s helped shape the conflict that defines today's politics
The 2020 election revealed a stark divide between rural and small-town voters—who overwhelmingly supported Republicans—and those in cities and suburbs, who favored Democrats. In 2020, this growing pattern enabled Joe Biden to capture formerly safe Republican states like Georgia and Arizona, while President Donald Trump targeted longtime Democratic-bastion Minnesota.
This “geographic sort” between metro and non-metro areas has also played out across issues including variations in coronavirus vaccination rates, ongoing legislative redistricting fights and people’s very identities, with many extolling the virtues of hailing from a city or the country, and feeling alien from those living in the opposite circumstance.
Today’s blue/red divide then plays out not between regions—as we saw in the famous 2000 electoral map, which introduced the concept of such divisions and pitted red states vs. blue ones—but between metropolitan and rural areas within states.