Student Author(s)

Emily Marino, Hope College

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Rachel Schutte, Political Science

Document Type


Event Date



The past several decades have revealed a dividing trend between the voting behavior of urban and rural areas within and among states. This project seeks to identify and explain factors that are causing urban areas to affiliate with the Democratic party and rural areas to affiliate with the Republican party. This trend of division, based on geography, has significant implications for the U.S. electoral system as it will greatly impact how, when, and where candidates campaign as well as the outcomes of elections. Such division amongst cities, towns, and even neighborhoods is creating communities isolated from the lifestyles, concerns, and ideologies of those in different communities. The greater implication of this is a highly polarized and incompatible electorate. From this research design, it is expected that higher levels of globalization in urban areas create a disconnect between urban and rural constituents due to a sharp contrast in lifestyles. Urban constituents are expected to be more involved at the global level and rural constituents more involved in traditional democratic activities that promote their sense of nationalism. In addition, social pressure created by cultural trend setters in urban areas is expected to facilitate the division of party affiliation between areas and decrease variability within areas.