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Report: The 'most politically intolerant Americans' are more educated, city-dwelling whites

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Report says Suffolk County in Massachusetts — which includes Boston — appears to be the most intolerant in US

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The most politically intolerant Americans tend to be "whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan themselves," The Atlantic reported.

The magazine said it asked polling firm PredictWise to rank U.S counties "based on partisan prejudice (or what researchers call 'affective polarization'). The result was surprising in several ways," most notably that it "found significant variations in Americans' political ill will from place to place, regardless of party."

For instance, some states such as Texas show a mix of prejudiced and nonprejudiced counties, The Atlantic said. But Florida? The magazine said the Sunshine State was found to be "very consistent — and fairly prejudiced — from place to place."

"Other research has also found that more educated and politically engaged people tend to be more politically prejudiced," the magazine said. "But the PredictWise analysis also detected a correlation with urbanicity and life stage. Older Americans and people living in or near sizable cities, from Dallas, Texas, to Seattle, Washington state, seem to be more likely to stereotype and disdain people who disagree with them politically."

In addition, city dwellers — specifically "affluent, older white people" — can more easily create work and home lives with those who "agree with them politically," The Atlantic added.

More from the magazine:

In general, Republicans seem to dislike Democrats more than Democrats dislike Republicans, PredictWise found. We don't know why this is, but this is not the only study to have detected an imbalance. For example, in a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, half of consistently conservative respondents said it was important for them to live in a place where most people share their political views — compared with just 35 percent of consistent liberals. But a more recent survey, conducted in December by The Atlantic and the Public Religion Research Institute, found that Democrats were the ones showing more ill will — with 45 percent saying they'd be unhappy if their child married a Republican (versus 35 percent of Republicans saying they'd be unhappy if their child married a Democrat). So it's hard to know exactly what's going on, but what's clear is that both sides are becoming more hostile toward one another.

What appears to be the most politically intolerant county in America?

The Atlantic said the most politically intolerant county "appears to be Suffolk County, Massachusetts, which includes the city of Boston. In this part of the country, nine out of every 10 couples appear to share the same partisan leaning, according to the voter-file data. Eight out of every 10 neighborhoods are politically homogeneous. This means that people in Boston may have fewer 'cross-cutting relationships,' as researchers put it. It is a very urban county with a relatively high education level. All these things tend to correlate with partisan prejudice."

Interestingly, the magazine didn't define Suffolk County's "partisan leaning" or its "politically homogeneous" makeup. But in a state that's strongly Democratic to begin with, Suffolk County pretty much crushed the other Massachusetts counties in terms of votes for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Nearly 80 percent of Suffolk County voters pulled the levers for Clinton in 2016; coming in second was Dukes County at 73 percent.

If this all sounds surprising...

Given the left's penchant for defining itself as open-minded, exceedingly tolerant, and utterly devoid of prejudice, this all might come as a shock to many.

But the Atlantic also noted University of Pennsylvania professor Diana Mutz's findings that "white, highly educated people are relatively isolated from political diversity. They don't routinely talk with people who disagree with them; this isolation makes it easier for them to caricature their ideological opponents." The magazine added that Mutz's book "Hearing the Other Side" indicated that those who've attended graduate school "have the least amount of political disagreement in their lives."

Along similar lines, TheBlaze in November highlighted a Yale professor's study that found that white liberals behave with less competence around black people "in an effort to get along" — and that conservatives don't.

Yale Insights offered the following summary of the study by Cydney H. Dupree, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management: "White Liberals Present Themselves as Less Competent in Interactions with African-Americans."

The study further suggests that white Americans who hold liberal socio-political views tend to use words that make them appear less competent when they're around racial minorities — but no significant differences were seen in conservatives' word selections, the outlet added.

"It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect," Dupree told Yale Insights. "Even if it's ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing."

(H/T: Reason)

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