Election 2020: New Mexico's urban-rural voter divide continues to grow | KOB 4
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Election 2020: New Mexico's urban-rural voter divide continues to grow

Chris Ramirez
Updated: November 09, 2020 10:49 PM
Created: November 09, 2020 10:25 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To say the nation is polarized and divided is an understatement.

Joe Biden is projected to win the electoral college and popular vote, but President Donald Trump will not concede. Instead, the president has pledged to fight the election results in court, claiming voter fraud, but has produced no evidence to support that claim. 

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The situation continues to leave the country in a state of divide, but the tight nature of the race only revealed that the country was polarized long before Election Day. 

“Oh yeah, I see a lot of danger in that.  The problem with polarization is that it really prevents compromise because people see their positions as moral and above board and the other side sees them as intolerant,” said UNM political science professor Lonna Atkeson. 

In New Mexico, the blue counties voted for Joe Biden while the red counties voted for Trump, but some counties leaned heavily in the direction of one candidate.

For example, 76 percent of the vote in Santa Fe County went to Biden, 71 percent of the vote in Taos County went to Biden, and 61 percent of the vote in Bernalillo County went to Biden. 

On the other end of spectrum, more than 75 percent of the vote in counties like Eddy, Lea and Union County went to Trump. 

So what does this tell us?

“We are becoming more polarized not only on partisanship, but whether you live in a city or a more rural area and that is something we have been seeing in the last four to six years—it parallels national phenomenons, and we are seeing it here,” Atkeson explained.

The state legislature was also affected by the rural-urban divide last week. The Albuquerque Metro area lost three Republican seats, a sign that Albuquerque is growing more progressive. 

For lawmakers on the state and federal level, the divide should serve as a wake-up call to find those compromises. 

Professor Atkeson said, unfortunately, fixing the divide won’t be a quick or easy task.

“I don't really see that in the tea leaves.  That's where we should go, but that is not really where we are headed.  I don't see a lot of changes there,” she said. 




 


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