Blue Burbs

BLUE BURBS….E.J. Dionne writes about electoral demographics:

Outside the Deep South, Democrats are on the verge of becoming the dominant party in the suburbs and are pushing into the exurbs….Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, who headed the Democrats’ 2006 effort in the House elections, regularly reminds his colleagues that 16 of the 31 Democratic pickups were in suburban or exurban areas. He has been talking about a new “suburban populism” or “metropolitan populism” that he characterizes as “a revolt of the center.” The suburbs are changing demographically as more nonwhites move in, and many suburban voters are turned off by the ideological politics of the right, particularly the Christian right.

….Mark Warner, who combines popularity in the suburbs with strength in rural areas that’s unusual for a Democrat, clearly had his own version of Emanuel’s “revolt of the center” in mind when he announced his candidacy in a Web broadcast yesterday. He spoke of voters who were “sick to death of the bickering” in Washington and promised a “practical problem-solving approach” and “a bipartisan approach of change.”

Safe, soothing and very suburban: These could be the characteristics of the new American majority. For now, Democrats have the better understanding of its rhythms.

Cities are liberal, rural areas are conservative, and suburbs are the battleground. That’s been true for a long time, and John Judis and Ruy Teixeira predicted a Democratic resurgence in the burbs back in 2002. Terrorism and 9/11 intervened temporarily to turn back the tide, but demographics can’t be put on hold forever. The suburbs are turning blue. More here.