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Voters in both 'red' and 'blue' states have common view on issues

June 9, 2011 - Washington

A new study has found that voters in the United States whether they are from red states or blue states- states whose residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party or Democratic Party presidential candidates, respectively - share common ground on political issues.

The research, conducted by political scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Brigham Young University, painted an entirely different picture of American politics than the popular narrative of a polarized society.

"Far from being from two separate planets, red and blue state citizens seem to inhabit the same neighborhood," wrote BYU's Jeremy Pope and Penn's Matthew Levendusky.

The researchers calculated that 77 percent of voters in Utah and New York occupy common ground when it comes to social policy, and 69 percent shared common ground on economic issues.

"Utah is more conservative than it's not, but the number of liberals is substantial," Pope said.

"The overall picture is more complicated. There are lots of conservatives in New York. You can find a similar pattern in any pair of states," he said.

The study will appear in the new issue of Public Opinion Quarterly.


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