Fred Hiatt laments the state of the states of the nation. We are out of sorts because we are in sorts. The states' polarized takes on abortion, gays, and guns have us living in different worlds. Only a few purple states remain:
In 2012, only four (Florida, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina) were decided by five percentage points or fewer.
Disturbed though he be there is hope that attitudes and populations may shift:
The migration of foreign-born families into the heartland, for example, may help make immigration reform more achievable than it would be if immigrants were clustered only in traditional coastal cities. And, as Third Way’s Matt Bennett pointed out to me, polls show voters often are more moderate than their politicians, even in deep blue or bright red states.
[Compare this recent post where I quote Samuel Abrams (via Bill Keller) to the effect that at the state level highly engaged elites are the polarizers.]
Hiatt doesn’t think redistricting will help the national elections so much:
And while congressional gerrymandering amplifies the effect of the division, even fair redistricting would not bridge the chasm, as Rob Richie explained in a Post op-ed last fall. (Richie’s solution: Create multi-member House districts, so that the minority party in any given region could elect at least one out of three legislators.)
[But then Thomas F. Schaller believes single-member districts are here to stay. The map itself is the problem.]