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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Inner-Ring and Outer-Ring Suburbs

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.

Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff at NYT:
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.

The Suburban Battleground

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won decisively in suburban neighborhoods near cities, but Donald J. Trump countered with a big advantage in more outlying suburban places.

Trump
Clinton
Urban
6.1m
17.8m votes
Inner suburbs
15.4m
20.4m
Outer suburbs
17.3m
22.4m
Rural
7.5m
16.8m
Sources: Density based on the American Community Survey and Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics consortium data for the continental U.S. Precinct results compiled by Ryne Rohla. Some absentee and other votes are excluded.
By The New York Times

In 1994, 54 percent of white Americans with at least a four-year college degree identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party, according to the Pew Research Center. Just 38 percent associated with the Democratic Party ... By 2017, the pattern that Pew identified in 1994 was practically reversed: Just 42 percent of well-educated white voters leaned Republican, while 53 percent preferred the Democrats.
White college graduates are only part of what is turning some suburbs blue. The other powerful force is rising racial diversity. Nearly 60 percent of all black people now live in suburbs. African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians together make up nearly one-third of the suburban population.