News & Politics

Where Your Politics Say You Should Live

Looking for the perfect echo chamber in which to settle down? Try this questionnaire that matches partisanship with neighborhoods.

Photograph by Flickr user ep_jhu.

A Pew Research Center survey released this month says that as the United States becomes increasingly partisan, more people try to live with areas with politically like-minded residents. Liberals prefer more urbanized, pedestrian-friendly areas, while conservatives show preferences for suburban and rural expanses.

While it’s easy enough to pick out red states and blue states, it can get a bit trickier at the neighborhood level. Not anymore. Research firm Clarity Campaigns has created a questionnaire determining where a person should live based on their politics, down to the Zip code.

The tool, based on voter file information, asks users seven basic questions about their political natures, including party identification, positions on gun control and abortion, and religious attendance. Although Clarity Campaigns is a Democratic firm, the results—at least for the Washington area—are startingly accurate. For instance, if someone looking to live in the District selects the obviously liberal responses—more gun control, higher taxes—to all seven questions, the questionnaire returns Zip code 20009, which includes communitarian enclaves like Mt. Pleasant.

Say you attend church often and favor restrictions on abortion and you get sent to 20057, the Zip for Georgetown University—think rectories housing Catholics priests.

A pocket of Alexandria is the most liberal-friendly zone in Virginia, while in Maryland, that distinction goes to Zip code 20912, also known as the People’s Republic of Takoma Park. Turn the dials all the way to the right in Maryland, and you land on a sleepy town in the state’s far western panhandle called Accident.

Try it out below and see if you need to put your house on the market to satisfy your politics.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.