The Mismeasure of Animosity

by Ramesh Ponnuru

A big new Pew study purports to show that partisan animus is increasing in our country. I think Pew has collected some interesting data but goes overboard in interpreting it. From my post about it at Bloomberg:

The section of the report on how polarization is affecting personal life is similarly overstated. It shows that in choosing neighborhoods, conservatives prefer more space between houses, while liberals value walkability. But it doesn’t provide context. How much of what’s driving this is that people with two or more kids want big yards, and that these days those people are disproportionately conservatives? If the answer is “a lot,” how much has the underlying correlation between family orientation and neighborhood preference changed over time?

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