New report outlines the deep political polarization’s slow and steady march

April 09, 2023

The district sat almost at the country’s political center, with almost 200 congressional districts rated more conservative and about 235 more liberal, according to one detailed analysis. Today, as the 2024 presidential season gets started, Kentucky’s 5th is the second-most-conservative district in the entire nation. David Wasserman, senior editor of the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, highlights the Kentucky district in a new deep dive into all 435 House districts to explain the geographical roots of political polarization and how hollowed-out the political middle has become. “The electorate has simply become much more homogenous than it used to be,” he wrote in the newly released analysis. In 1996, Rep. Scott Klug (R-Wis.) won his fourth term in that area, by a blowout margin of more than 16 points.