The 2020 elections revealed clear voting pattern divisions that separate liberal-leaning metropolitan areas along with their connected affluent exurban communities, versus more conservative moderate income suburban and small-town rural regions.
A coronavirus-accelerated business and population migration trend away from predominately coastal blue high-density states and municipalities should inevitably bleed many exurbs more purple. . . and much of fly-over middle America an even deeper red.
This politically impactful demographic shift got a big jump start with an internet-enabled work-and-shop-from-home phenomena that became turbocharged by the coronavirus stay-home-or die social and economic shutdowns.
Democratic state and municipal government regimes can be counted on to respond as they predictably do, calling for higher real estate and personal income taxes that --- just as predictably — drive more taxpaying individuals and enterprises to more affordable, safer and family — amenable locales.
I clearly predicted this general shift in my 2018 pre-Covid-19 book "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity." I discussed this again in my 2019 book "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet."
Nevertheless, I then had no way of realizing that it would play out so quickly and dramatically with no thanks to a huge assist from ultra-progressive activists orbiting in powerful government and media spheres of influence.
Biden administration-led taxing and regulatory policies, in combination with leniency in tolerating rampantly growing urban crime, will hasten politically impactful demographic changes in America’s voter landscape.
Although about half of the nation’s population who are broadly categorized as living in "suburbs" gave Biden a 10-point 54%-44% victory margin, that result provides only a limited view of the overall picture.
Wealthier and more racially diverse suburbs located close to large cities have long-leaned Democratic, and 2020 was no exception. According to The Wall Street Journal, Biden won them by 22 percentage points, even drawing 3% more Democratic votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
The exurbs — lower density and still richer communities located further out from large cities — tend to lean more Republican. Trump won them by a 12 percentages point margin this year, but that was down from nearly 18 points in 2016.
A plurality of GOP voters — 44% — live in small towns or rural areas, while 42% live in suburbs and 14% in urban areas.
Small town suburban and rural working-class citizens who were key to Trump’s 2016 election turned out in great strength for him and Republican congressional candidates again this year. An exit poll conducted by Edison Research reported that a 54% majority of them voted for Trump.
As reported by NPR and Daily Yonder, the rural-urban voting gap had widened in 2016, with counties becoming more Republican as they became more rural.
The president’s performance in Ohio, a key battleground state, rolled up margins of 2-to-1 and even 3-to-1 in predominately rural and small metro counties.
Deep and wide ideological divisions separate metropolitan versus small-town America, most particularly between those populations in Democratic coastal and Republican central battleground stronghold states, counties and municipalities.
Oceans of Silicon Valley and Wall Street funding weren’t enough to accomplish the "blue wave" of Democratic wins that mainstream pollsters and pundits had posited.
Supposedly vulnerable Republican U.S. Senate incumbents Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., successfully won out by strong margins over Democratic challengers who outspent them two or three to one.
Pre-election estimates that predicted Republicans would lose as many as 20 U.S. House seats have proved to be entirely misguided. Instead, the GOP can now expect to gain at least seven representatives, and possibly more than a dozen.
Brookings Institute demographer William Frey believes that dramatically unexpected Democratic losses in congressional races indicate resilient power of Trump’s rural appeal that will outlast his presidency as metro areas continue to lose populations.
Exit polls indicate that these broadly characterized demographic groups vote with different priorities. Twenty-four percent of those located in suburbs near big cities identified the economy as their top issue in their candidate choice, compared with nearly one-third of those in working-class suburbs.
Voters in close-in suburbs named the coronavirus as their top issue more often than did working-class suburban residents.
Frey’s earlier research also found that while 55 of the nation’s 89 largest cities added more people between 2010 and 2019 than between 2000 and 2010 partly because of immigration, that growth already began to wane for many near the decade’s end.
As I previously reported in this column, populations remained strong in the smaller cities and suburbs which afforded better schools, less expensive housing, lower taxes, and less crime.
Last year, suburbs grew twice as fast as cities, a trend that is likely to increase due to three important impacting influences: coronavirus fears and shutdowns in densely-packed urban locales; disproportionate social unrest and crime in Democratic-controlled cities; and chronically mismanaged and strained progressive city budgets and taxing policies that simultaneously reduce business profitability and raise costs.
The bad news for Republicans is that many who flee deep blue cities and states to business and family-friendly red refuges often tend to forget why they left and bring their political baggage with them.
Traditional Republican Sun Belt strongholds Arizona and Georgia turned more purple, although Trump and Republicans made anti-socialist Latino gains in Florida.
To be clear, the decline of any American cities and states, regardless of politics, is a tragedy not only for their residents, but for our entire nation.
There are no real winners when good people — families, friends, neighbors, citizen — can’t come together to advance shared core values and long-held traditions.
The present hemorrhaging benefits no one.
So long as this occurs, America bleeds.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 700 articles for Newsmax and Forbes and is the author of several books. Included are: "How Everything Happened, Including Us" (2020), "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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