American Electoral Politics is Dominated by the Rural-Urban Divide 

Over the past 30 years, there has been a significant shift in political support from rural areas towards the Republican Party while urban areas, especially larger cities, have increasingly supported the Democratic Party, creating a rural-urban divide or geographic polarization. This divide has become a defining characteristic of contemporary American politics. The relationship between population density and political affiliation has become so strong that it is hard to imagine that there was virtually no urban-rural divide in the mid-1990s. Factors contributing to this divide include a shift in the focus of political discourse from economics to social issues, differences in demographic composition and social ecology between urban and rural areas, and perceived geographic inequity between them, leading to resentment. 

Click the link below to learn more. 

Urban-Rural Divide

Utah's Experiment with Ranked Choice Voting: Answering the Who What & Why's

Examining the historical origins of Utah Ranked Choice Voting advocacy and implementation - Considering the future of preferential voting in Utah Elections

October 2022

Steven M. Sylvester - Ph.D., Research Director ·
Mike Erickson - Student Director, Research Assistant

Ranked Choice Voting


Utah Ranked Choice Voting Pilot Seminar

March 24, 2023

The Herbert Institute welcomed local, state, and national presenters to Utah Valley University to discuss Utah's experience with the Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project, which allowed municipalities to opt into Ranked Choice Voting until 2026 to study the effectiveness of the policy. 

The views and opinions of the presenters are their own and do not reflect the views of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy, which remains neutral on Ranked Choice Voting.