Breaking Down the Country for 2016

For the coming presidential election, the American Communities Project is breaking down the nation’s 3,100 counties with a simpler, seven-category map. The new map merges the Project’s current 15 types and will make it easier for the ACP to analyze the polling data the Project can access through its partnerships with the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, as well as other data partners.

The Project has already used the breakdown to analyze polling data and the 2016 primary electorate and has found the breakdown to be useful.

The map below shows the 2016 ACP Political County Breakdown. There is a key with explainer text underneath.

map (1)

 

Color

Type

Pct. of 2012 Electorate

Description

Black

Big Cities

22%

Counties that hold the 40 biggest cities. Very Heavily Democratic in 2012

Blue

Urban Suburbs

22%

Big diverse suburban areas with higher incomes. Heavily Democratic in 2012

Yellow

The Sprawl

18%

A mix of exurban and less dense and diverse suburbs. Heavily Republican in 2012

Red

Rural America

13%

Older, whiter and more rural than the country overall. Heavily Republican in 2012

Green

Minority Centers

8%

Large black, Hispanic and Native American populations. Democratic in 2012

Orange

Faith Driven America

7%

Appalachian, evangelical and LDS populations. Very Heavily Republican in 2012

Pink

Books and Barracks

10%

College towns and military posts. Younger, transient populations. Republican in 2012
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