The CJR Campaign Desk points out this really interesting article (Free regis. req.) from the Austin American-Statesman, which shows that while the Red-Blue dichotomy is true on the national level, locally, most Americans don't live near people who are politically different from them.
" There is little competition in presidential contests between the parties in most U.S. counties, according to an Austin American-Statesman study of election returns since 1948. American democracy is based on the continuous exchange of differing points of view. Today, most Americans live in communities that are becoming more politically homogenous and, in effect, diminish dissenting views. And that grouping of like-minded people is feeding the nation's increasingly rancorous and partisan politics."
"By the end of the dead-even 2000 presidential election, American communities were more lopsidedly Republican or Democratic than at any time in the past half-century. The fastest-growing kind of segregation in the United States isn't racial. It is the segregation between Republicans and Democrats."