Background Virtually all existing evidence linking access to firearms to elevated risks of mortality and morbidity comes from ecological and case–control studies. To improve understanding of the health risks and benefits of firearm ownership, we launched a cohort study: the Longitudinal Study of Handgun Ownership and Transfer (LongSHOT).
Why is it so much easier for the Democratic Party to win the national popular vote than to build and maintain a majority in Congress? Why can Democrats sweep statewide offices in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan yet fail to take control of the same states' legislatures? Many place exclusive blame on partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression. But as political scientist Jonathan A. Rodden demonstrates in Why Cities Lose, the left's electoral challenges have deeper roots in economic and political geography.
Using new data on roll-call voting of US state legislators and public opinion in their districts, we explain how ideological polarization of voters within districts can lead to legislative polarization. In so-called “moderate” districts that switch hands between parties, legislative behavior is shaped by the fact that voters are often quite heterogeneous: the ideological distance between Democrats and Republicans within these districts is often greater than the distance between liberal cities and conservative rural areas.
Media professionals and intellectuals in the large coastal cities have long struggled to understand the white, non-metropolitan counties in the middle of the country. Just as Christians often fail to understand the diversity of the faraway Islamic world, American coastal elites have come to see the non-metro sections of the heartland as an undifferentiated mass of white, evangelical Republicans. This is far from the reality.
In my earlier post I suggested that voters in rural areas and small industrial towns are often two rather distinct demographic groups that should not be conflated. Yes, Democratic candidates lost votes in both postindustrial towns and their surrounding rural environs. But their losses were especially dramatic in the latter, while they still have pockets of support in the former. In larger towns with an industrial history or a university (or both), Democrats still win majorities.