In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published -- looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.
The political dividing line in America used to be between cities, which were mostly Democratic, and suburbs, which had long been Republican. But today it runs through the very center of the suburbs themselves, between a densely populated inner ring that is turning blue and a more spacious outer ring that is becoming ever more red.
This is as true in Alabama as it is in New York: Rural places and newer suburbs swung for Mr. Trump, while urban places and older suburbs favored Hillary Clinton.
In 2016, those two suburban types fought to a near draw. Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Trump by 5 million votes in inner-ring suburbs. He countered with a 5.1 million-vote advantage in outer-ring suburbs. This pattern tilted the race toward Mr. Trump in smaller cities, and toward Mrs. Clinton in big metro areas.