Here are recent developments that all go together ...
1. Conservatives want big houses & liberals want walkable communities. A recent poll showed that, when given a choice between "The houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are within walking distance" vs. "The houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away," 77% of consistently-liberal people chose the former while 75% of consistently-conservative people chose the latter.
2. Liberals eat here, conservatives eat there. The methodology: Researchers went into the chains and asked people for their political leanings. And now, they say, the presence of a specific chain can tell you whether a suburb is shifting toward a more liberal bent.
(How to tell your exeurb is becoming infested with liberals? Ethnic food. Or its nonunion equivalent, i.e. P.F. Chang or Chipotle. I question labeling Chipotle as a liberal brand, since I keep running across "lifestyle bloggers" who skew rightward and gush about that place only slightly less than they do about pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. But I suppose some folks have the ability to embrace the lifestyle cachet of fresh, local food or decent wages while completely ignoring the larger policy issues that make these things possible or not.)
3. Why the Democrats are focused on inequality: Liberal metros face the worst of it. The increasing economic divide between labor and white-collar knowledge workers is more prevalent in left-leaning cities. I look forward to seeing how this is reconciled with studies that show how the best cities in the U.S. for income mobility -- San Francisco, Seattle & Washington, D.C. -- are also among the most left-leaning in the U.S.
4. "'Ideological silos' are now common on the right and, to a lesser extent, on the left." A little more than six out of every ten consistently conservative people (63%) enjoy a homogeneity of opinion and values among their friends, while nearly five in ten consistently liberal people (49%) have a similarly homogenous bubble. (Also of note: conservative people seem to really loathe their liberal counterparts at a much higher percentage than vice-versa. I wonder why?)
... and none of this is really surprising if you've read Colin Woodard's American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. He identifies the cultural gulfs that exist between different regions of the country, so once you've accepted the idea that your conception of this country is going to be different from someone raised in a completely different region, the notion that folks in walkable neighborhoods are going to have different values from the folks sitting in 3000-square-foot houses 90 minutes away isn't really that hard to swallow, is it?
I have to admit that this self-selection for homogeneity makes me nervous. I've been nervous about it for nearly ten years, ever since I read "The Urban Archipelago."
And here is my own admission of bubble residence: If there is an equal and opposite manifesto urging readers to abandon the cities and all who live there, to turn their backs on the "blue" states and their works? I can't recall what it is.