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Study Confirms Twin Cities Political Polarization

Only 8 percent of residents in the Twin Cities are Republicans, but that number jumps to 39 percent in the suburbs, according to a poll by Minnesota Public Radio and the Humphrey Institute.

LIkewise, seventy-seven percent of Minneapolis and St. Paul residents are Democrats, but that number drops immediately outside city limit

According to Humphrey Institute political scientist Larry Jacobs, these numbers confirm the area’s partisan divisions.

“It is one of the most striking polarizations in our political world today,? he said to Minnesota Public Radio. “We are literally living apart.?

Demographics could explain the separation. According to MPR, the cities are one third non-white and minorities typically vote Democrat. The suburbs, on the other hand, are 99 percent white.

In addition, average household income is much higher in the suburbs and wealthier individuals tend to vote Republican, MPR said.

Jacobs also said that there is something about the suburbs that tend to attract conservatives, and something about the cities that attract liberals.

Rockford Mayor Mike Beyer agreed with this logic. He felt it was obvious why conservatives would prefer the open space of his suburb to the crowded city.

“You’re not part of an apartment complex, which is a communal area. Communal to me is social, and social goes to socialism,? he said, according to MPR.

Jacobs notes, however, that the division is changing. Suburbs are beginning to split tickets, which will make them key in this year’s election.