"Distress 'Burbs" are the Hot Political Battlegrounds of Today

Forget swing states, Richard Florida says, suburbs are today’s political battlegrounds.

In a recent feature for Politico magazine, Florida used data from USC political scientist Jeffrey M. Sellers, to flesh out his theory.  Political affiliation isn’t really up for grabs in dense cities, where residents tend to lean Democratic, nor in affluent suburbs, which usually vote Republican.  Instead, Florida argues, the question mark hovers over what he calls America’s “distress ‘burbs”—suburban areas hit hardest by the recession.

According to Sellers’s data, voters in the “distress ‘burbs” are most likely to swap Democratic for Republican party affiliation, or vice versa.  More specifically, they are prone to buck the regional trend:  less-well-off suburbs in red states tend to go for the Democratic candidate, while those in blue states vote Republican.

“But while voting patterns in the distress ‘burbs shift back and forth, ongoing urbanization and increased density appear to favor the Democrats,” Florida writes.  Regardless, the battle for the suburbs remains fierce, and they have come to define America’s new electoral map.”

Full Story: The Suburbs Are the New Swing States

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00