brexit Justin Tallis/Stringer

La geografía de las elecciones

PARÍS – En muchos países, el lugar de residencia de los votantes permite predecir con bastante exactitud sus preferencias electorales. Fue patente en los mapas de la geografía electoral del voto a favor y en contra de abandonar la Unión Europea, en el referendo celebrado en el Reino Unido en junio. Un patrón similar puede verse en la distribución de votos en la elección presidencial estadounidense de 2012 o en el apoyo de los franceses al Frente Nacional de Marine Le Pen en las elecciones regionales de 2015. Y es muy probable que se repita en la próxima elección presidencial en los Estados Unidos. Muchos ciudadanos viven en lugares donde buena parte de sus vecinos votan igual que ellos.

Esta geografía electoral señala una profunda división económica, social y educativa. Las ciudades ricas, donde se concentran los graduados universitarios, tienden a votar por candidatos con una visión internacionalista (a menudo, de centroizquierda), mientras que los distritos de clase media baja y trabajadora tienden a votar por candidatos que se oponen al libre comercio internacional (a menudo, nacionalistas de derecha). No es casualidad que alcaldes de centroizquierda gobiernen Nueva York, Londres, París y Berlín, mientras que las ciudades más pequeñas y postergadas tienden a preferir a políticos de la derecha dura.

Las diferencias entre regiones o ciudades a la hora de votar son tan viejas como la democracia. Lo nuevo es la creciente correlación de la polarización espacial, social y política, que convierte a conciudadanos en virtuales extraños. Como resaltó Enrico Moretti (de la Universidad de California en Berkeley) en su libro La nueva geografía del trabajo, esta nueva divisoria es inocultable: los graduados universitarios son la mitad de la población total en las áreas metropolitanas más ricas de Estados Unidos, pero cuatro veces menos en las áreas más postergadas.

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