Shifting demographics are rapidly eroding the mass base for culture wars politics. These demographic trends are having their greatest effects in America’s metropolitan areas, especially the largest ones. It is there that the culture wars are dying down the fastest, helping move these areas rapidly toward progressives—and not just in so-called blue states where progressives are already strong. Indeed, the biggest progressive shifts in America’s metros between 2004 and 2008 were mostly in traditionally conservative states such as Texas, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, and North Carolina. And over the 1988-2008 period, the fast-growing El Paso, Texas and Orlando, Florida metros recorded the largest progressive shifts in the country.
Residents in metro areas with a population of over 1 million people—which accounts for 54 percent of the population—scored 53.6 on PSP’s comprehensive 10-item progressive cultural index covering topics ranging from religion, abortion, and homosexuality to race, immigration, and the family. Residents in metro areas with between 250,000 and 1 million residents—another 20 percent of the population—scored 51 on the index. In contrast, small town rural residents scored 45.4 and deep rural residents scored just 44.6.
Read more: America’s Progressive Metros