By Ruy Teixeira
The Mountain West —Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah —has turn into the recent swing zone in American politics. All symptoms aspect to those states, specially Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, being the most important within the 2012 election. regrettably, the increase of this zone has been underreported within the media, and plenty of political observers have purely the main superficial realizing of the profound fiscal, political, and social adjustments that proceed to reshape the Mountain West. America's New Swing sector is the remedy.Led by means of bestselling writer and political analyst Ruy Teixeira, a skilled workforce of students assembled via the Brookings Mountain West software (housed on the collage of Nevada–Las Vegas) offers the proof and the narrative precious for knowing what's occurring during this sector and why it's so important.Contents 1. advent and Overview2. America's New Swing sector: The Political Demography and Geography of the Mountain West3. Metropolitan vote casting styles within the Mountain West: the recent and outdated Political Heartlands4. Hispanics, Race, and the altering Political panorama of the U.S. Mountain West5. The Political Attitudes of the Millennial new release within the Mountain West6. The Mountain West at the present time: A nearby Survey7. Reapportionment and Redistricting within the Mountain WestContributors comprise Karlyn Bowman (American firm Institute), David Damore(University of Nevada–Las Vegas (UNLV), William Frey (Brookings Institution), Scott Keeter (Pew study Center), Robert E. Lang (Brookings, UNLV, and the Lincy Institute), Tom Sanchez (Virginia Tech University), and Ruy Teixeira (Century starting place and the guts for American Progress).
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McCain carried the other three regions, including the Phoenix metro area (bright red) by 11 points. Since the Phoenix metro contributed 64 percent of the statewide vote, it was obviously central to the GOP’s 2008 victory. indd 21 1/24/12 5:38 PM 22 W illiam H. F rey and R uy T eixeira Table B-4. Democratic Margins in the 1988 and 2008 Presidential Elections for Arizona Regions Percent Democratic margin Region 1988 2008 Change, 1988–2008 Phoenix Tuscon North West Southeast –30 –2 0 –26 –10 –11 6 10 –25 –18 19 8 10 1 –7 Source: Authors’ analysis of 1988 and 2008 Arizona election returns.
It is striking how much of the 2008 map is colored not only red but bright red, indicating that McCain carried the county by 10 points or more. How, then, did Obama wind up with a relatively easy 9-point victory in the state? The answer lies in the distribution of voters. Denver, which is just one county on the map and a small one, had 272,000 voters in 2008—11 percent of the statewide total—and they went for Obama by 52 points (see table C-4), 12 points more than for John Kerry in 2004. The three counties of the Denver inner suburbs—Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson—cast 722,000 votes (30 percent of the statewide total) and gave Obama a 13-point margin, 16 points better than Kerry’s performance in the previous election.
In this relatively small area—Denver, the Denver inner suburbs, and Boulder—lies about half of the statewide vote, which was strongly to overwhelmingly Democratic in 2008. Obama also did well in the Southeast and Central region, which accounted for 5 percent of the statewide vote, carrying it by 17 points. indd 32 1/24/12 5:38 PM America’s New Swing Region 33 Table C-4. Democratic Margins in the 1988 and 2008 Presidential Elections for Colorado Regions Percent Democratic margin Region 1988 2008 Change, 1988–2008 Denver city Denver inner suburbs Denver outer suburbs Boulder Colorado Springs East Central and Southeast North and West 24 –13 –32 8 –41 2 –1 –16 52 13 –13 46 –19 –8 17 –5 29 25 19 38 22 –10 19 11 Source: Authors’ analysis of 1988 and 2008 Colorado election returns.
America's new swing region: changing politics and demographics in the Mountain West by Ruy Teixeira