Neighborhood Preference Splits on Partisan Lines

Preferences in the characteristics of communities—from the shape of the built environment to demographics—reveal stark partisan preferences. Planners are faced with the task of navigating ideological divides.

1 minute read

February 20, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Anita Hart / Flickr

"Republicans and Democrats express sharply different preferences about their ideal communities and house sizes," writes Bradley Jones to explain research from the Pew Research Center. "And while large numbers of people in both parties say it is important to live in a community that is a good place to raise children, partisans diverge on whether it is important that a community is racially and ethnically diverse."

Some of the distinctions in partisan preference can be boiled down to planning considerations implemented by zoning codes, according to Jones:

Nearly two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (65%) say they would prefer to live in a community where houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away.

By contrast, a majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (58%) would rather live in a community in which houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are in walking distance.

The Pew research Center conducted a survey in September 2019 to produce the findings. More details on the methodology and the findings are available in the source article.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in Pew Research Center

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