Where is the Resistance?
Published January 6, 2018 / Updated August 5, 2020

Where is the Resistance?

Mapping Resistbot users across the United States

by Sohan Murthy

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Resistbot launched on March 8th, 2017 to enable U.S. citizens to contact their elected officials via messaging apps and SMS texting. By the end of 2017, over 4.1 million Americans signed up to use Resistbot. Where do they all live, and what does that say about the political climate of our country?

Thank You Resistbotters

In order to get matched to elected officials, Resistbot users are asked to provide their street address. We analyzed this data (anonymized to protect user privacy) and compared it to the most recent population estimates provided by the U.S. Census. We calculated the density of users by county and drew the map below. The darker the county, the more Resistbot users relative to the population.

After adjusting for population, users still tend to be concentrated in large metropolitan areas. This isn’t too surprising as urban areas tend to be more liberal than the country as a whole. When you look a bit closer at the counties with the highest density of Resistbot users overall, an interesting pattern emerges.

Top 10 Counties With the Most Resistbot Users Per 100,000 Residents

What do these counties have in common? Nearly all of them contain a large public university.

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located in Orange County, North Carolina.
  • The University of Kansas is located in Douglas County, Kansas
  • Indiana University Bloomington is located in Monroe County, Indiana.
  • Ohio University is located in Athens County, Ohio.
  • The University of Texas at Austin is located in Travis County, Texas.
  • University of Colorado Boulder is located in Boulder County, Colorado.
  • University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, Virginia
  • The University of Iowa is located in Johnson County, Iowa.

Additionally, many of these university towns are “liberal islands” in otherwise red states. Over the last few months, we’ve noticed more students using Resistbot than ever before, and they tend to write about preserving Net Neutrality and protecting DACA recipients more than any other group of users.

Let’s Make Every County Dark Blue

While its encouraging to see so many Americans getting involved in politics across the country, there is still a lot more we can do to paint the rest of this map dark blue.

  • Text RESIST to Resistbot on Telegram, Messenger, or to 50409 on SMS to contact your elected officials today.
  • Text INVITE to invite your friends to Resistbot — especially if they live in parts of the map above that aren’t dark blue.
  • Once you and your friends have signed up, text REMINDERS to get a daily reminder to contact your elected officials, and ISSUES for ideas on what to write about.
  • Finally, consider donating to keep the ‘bot going!

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