It seems we may avoid worrying about Americans turning on each other as our ancestors violently did in the 1860s.
That’s because like two weary, punch-drunk heavyweight boxers, Team Red and Team Blue are voluntarily retreating to their respective corners.
On Monday, Axios reported on the latest findings of the Ipsos “Two Americas Index.” The upshot: “Democrats thinking about moving to another state are about twice as likely to consider blue states than red or swing states — and Republicans’ preference for red states over the alternatives is even more pronounced.”
The overarching theme of the poll was captured in one question: 80 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Republicans reported that “they had little to nothing in common” with people on the other side, Ipsos noted.
In one sense, this is working out geographically.
“Democrats are more likely to consider moving to blue states (48%) than red (25%) or swing states (27%),” Ipsos noted, “and Republicans are more likely to consider moving to red states (51%) than blue states (20%) or swing states (28%).”
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Ipsos also found that 64 percent of those who have considered moving wuld head to a blue state that is “more likely to share their cultural or social values.” On the other hand, just 47 percent say that of red states.
“A majority of Democrats and Republicans say they have considered moving to a state that better reflects their policy/political values (55% and 58% respectively) or to a state where residents may be more likely to share their cultural/social values (69% and 65% respectively).”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the pollster learned that politics is a bigger wedge than factors such as race or religion.
“Americans are more likely to say that people with opposing political views don’t share their values (45%), than those of differing religious background (35%) and racial backgrounds (25%). Democrats are more likely to say this (54%) than Republicans (45%)” Ipsos noted.
Axios noted in its report on the poll that economics trumped all.
Cost of living was cited most often by both sides – 63 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of Democrats – as the main reason for leaving for another state.
But whatever the reason, the plurality preferred red states.
“Overall, 38% of those who considered relocating wanted to move to red states, 34% to blue states, and 28% to swing states,” Axios noted.
The future holds more of such sorting, experts argued.
“For the most part, people look to be going to a safe space for them, for their ideological identity,” Ipsos Senior Vice President Chris Jackson told Axios.
Justin Gest, an associate professor at George Mason University specializing in the politics of demographic change, added to Axios, “People who have other reasons to locate are clearly choosing with some respect to their values. These trends are only going to continue.”
And if those trends continue, we may prevent problems down the road, PJ Media columnist Athena Thorne maintained on Monday.
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“While hotheads on the internet like to talk big about civil wars and revolutions, most people understand that would be hell on earth,” she wrote.
“If enough Americans keep voting with their feet, many intractably interwoven systems could conceivably sort themselves into distinct geographic entities over time. If a terrible day ever came when the union split asunder, perhaps there would ultimately be less bloodshed in the process if people have already performed a peaceful self-sorting.”
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.