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New Metropolitan Politics in the Mountain West. Robert Lang, Ph.D. Professor and Director, Brookings Mountain West/UNLV Department of Sociology Tom Sanchez, Ph.D. Professor and Chair, Urban Affairs and Planning Virginia Tech Christina Nicholas Ph.D. Candidate, UNLV Department of Sociology.

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new metropolitan politics in the mountain west

New Metropolitan Politics in the Mountain West

Robert Lang, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Brookings Mountain West/UNLVDepartment of Sociology

Tom Sanchez, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Urban Affairs and Planning

Virginia Tech

Christina Nicholas

Ph.D. Candidate, UNLV

Department of Sociology

america keeps growing
America Keeps Growing

200 million in 1967

300 million in 2006

400 million in 2039

America adds 100 million people faster than any other nation except India and Pakistan—But faster than China. Most of this gain is in large metros.

  • Source: Census Bureau
the big picture
The Big Picture
  • The New 3D Politics

Density + Diversity = Democrats

  • Election 2008

The Suburbs Ruled!

  • Looking Ahead to 2010 and Beyond

Demography = Destiny? Not always. Especially not when the U.S. is in a deep recession.

original metro typology
Original Metro Typology
  • Brookings-County Typology
    • Is Based on Commuting Patterns, Land Uses, and Growth Rates
    • Uses Five Categories
  • Core—Cook, IL
  • Inner Suburb—De Kalb, GA
  • Mature Suburb—Fairfax, VA
  • Emerging Suburb—Douglas, CO
  • Exurb—Pinal, AZ
metropolitan areas
Metropolitan Areas
  • Nearly All Population Gains to Mid Century are in Metropolitan Areas
  • A Greater Share of Metropolitan Growth Will Occur in Built Up Areas
  • Republican Rural and Exurban Vote Cannot Offset The Democrats Gains in Urbanizing Suburbs Much Longer
suburban politics
Suburban Politics
  • The 2006 Democratic Gains Made in Urbanizing Suburbs Expanded in 2008 and Helped Obama win the Presidential Election
  • Democrats now Dominate the Urbanizing Suburbs and are at least Competitive at the Metropolitan Fringe
slide14

Southern Mountain West is New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

Northern Mountain West is Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.

slide16

Mountain West

The Democrats won the Mountain West metro counties in 2004 but won these places by larger margins in 2008 and help flipped three states to the Democrats.

slide17

2004 and 2008 Presidential Elections:

Republican to Democrat switch by Non-Metropolitan and Metropolitan Counties

  • Non-Metropolitan
  • Metropolitan
slide19

Southern Mountain West is New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

Northern Mountain West is Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.