Suburbs Grow in Significance
In 2004 John Kerry met his goals in the battleground states but George Bush still won a narrow victory largely due to bringing in more votes in the exburbs–votes that were missed by the pollsters. While apparently only the GOP understood the significance of the exburbs in 2004, this will not be missed by either party, or the media, in upcoming election. The New York Times reppports that the ‘06 Race Focuses on the Suburbs, Inner and Outer. This time both Democrats and Republicans see prospects for votes:
After years in which Republicans capitalized on rapid growth in outlying areas, Democrats now see an opportunity to make gains in close-in suburbs where changes in the composition of the population are working in their favor. In a dozen or so Congressional districts that are leading battlegrounds in the midterm elections, older, more densely packed suburbs are trending Democratic, helping to offset Republican dominance on the sprawling exurban frontier.
To really be competitive in the suburbs means that Democrats also must new constituencies to replace the collapsed New Deal coalition. This includes groups which we’ve discussed before such as the Starbucks Republicans. While the name might not be totally appropriate, many suburbanites may be more receptive to the message of more libertarian Democrats.