Washington DC Could Care Less About Republican Primary

If you didn't follow national politics, there would be very little physical evidence around the city to indicate that this is an election year. 

Here's why. DC can be segmented into a number of very different sub-populations, the most obvious binary split being between natives of the district and recent immigrants. These are two very different groups racially, politically, and economically, and our voting patterns are equally dissimilar. 

Overall, the majority of people that I know and surround myself with both socially and professionally fall into the latter category and rarely actually vote in the DC primary. This is largely because of the pre-ordained outcome in DC, but also because most of us — though certainly not all of us — are often still registered to vote back home (where our vote might actually matter, or, more cynically, because we’re too lazy to change it). Meanwhile, the true locals dominate the elections and vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

Naturally, chatter about the presidential election is everywhere. But because everyone in the city already knows the outcome (according to CNN, 93% of the vote went to Obama in 2008), there is virtually no campaigning done around here (the transplants don’t vote, and the locals don’t need convincing to vote D). It's interesting because even though DC is the political hotbed of the country, the only Obama signs you see around here are on cars, front yards, or t-shirts of young, enthusiastic residents. And the only Romney or Santorum signs you see are… well, you don’t really see any of those, but you certainly hear about those two guys a lot.

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Jacob Shmukler

Jacob performed health care policy research at a prominent libertarian think tank for 2 years before working at a major health care consulting firm in Washington, DC.

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