Politics

Suburbs will decide the election

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Suburbs may not have cooked up the mortgage crisis, but they absorbed much of initial damage. Now that Wall Street and the big cities are also taking the fall, suburbanites might feel a bit better — but there’s still lots of room for anger out in the land of picket fences, decent schools and shopping malls.  read more »

Geography, Class, and Red and Blue Voting

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Consider the following two apparently contradictory sets of statistics:

From the Republican convention and much of the media, you’d get the impression that class voting has turned upside down—that the Democrats are the party of the “elite” and the Republicans the new friends of the “working class”.  read more »

Rural America could bring boon to Dems

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Perhaps no geography in America is as misunderstood as small towns and rural areas. Home to no more than one in five Americans, these areas barely register with the national media except for occasional reports about the towns’ general decrepitude, cultural backwardness and inexorable decline.

Yet in reality this part of America is far more diverse, and in many areas infinitely more vital, than the big-city-dominated media suspects. In fact, there are many demographic and economic dynamics that make this part of America far more competitive this year than in the recent past.  read more »

A Generation Rises with Obama

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On his way to Denver, Barack Obama has been trying to mainstream his campaign. The selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate was intended to be a steadying force as the historic nature of his campaign as a candidate of change remains unsettling for some. But so much has been said about his status as a candidate of racial change, that his status as a candidate of generational change has been little noticed. The torch, as JFK might say, is passing to a new generation.

Obama is the first Gen X Presidential candidate — for better and for worse.  read more »

Hillraisers: The New Naderites?

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I don’t know about you, but I’m still pretty astonished that aging white men – especially working class, blue-collar workers – have become “Hillary voters.” Who could have predicted that? Once upon a time, Hillary was a card-carrying member of the liberal elite, a corporate lawyer who didn’t stay home to bake cookies and have teas, who ruthlessly fired travel office workers and carted off loot from the White House, who carpet-bagged her way to a Senate seat in New York, and got booed by firefighters in the wake of 9/11.  read more »

Bye Bye Boomers

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By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

The formal ratification of the outcome of the primary elections at the party’s national conventions marks more than just the beginning of a new era in American politics. It signals the demise of Boomer generation attitudes and beliefs as the dominant motif in American life.  read more »

Minority America

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Recent news from the Census Bureau that a “minority” majority might be a reality somewhat sooner than expected --- 2042 instead of 2050 --- may lead to many misapprehensions, if not in the media, certainly in the private spaces of Americans.  read more »

Emerald City Emergence: Seattle and the New Deal

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Seattle voters, if not the city’s newspapers, were strong supporters of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s. As in many parts of the country, New Deal programs had a profound effect on Seattle and Washington state.  read more »

Progressives, New Dealers, and the Politics of Landscape

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One of the greatest ironies of our time is the fact that today’s leading progressives tend to despise the very decentralized landscape that an earlier generation of New Deal liberals created.  read more »

Urban America: The New Solid South

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Ever since the 1930s, most urban areas have leaned Democratic. But in presidential elections, many remained stubbornly competitive between the two parties. As late as 1988, for example, Republican nominees won Dallas County and made strong showings in the core urban counties of Cook (Chicago), Los Angeles and King (Seattle).  read more »