America's New Swing Region

Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West

The Mountain West—Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—has become the new swing region in American politics. All signs point to these states, especially Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, being crucial in the 2012 election. Unfortunately, the rise of this region has been underreported in the media, and many political observers have only the most superficial understanding of the profound economic, political, and social changes that continue to reshape the Mountain West. America’s New Swing Region is the remedy.

Ruy Teixeira, the editor of this new volume, has several books to his credit, including America’s Forgotten Majority: Why the White Working Class Still Matters (Basic Books, paperback in 2001), which he wrote with Joel Rogers, and The Emerging Democratic Majority (Scribner, paperback in 2004), written with John Judis. Teixeira is also the editor of Red, Blue & Purple America: The Future of Election Demographics (Brookings, 2008).

Led by Teixeira, a talented group of scholars assembled by the Brookings Mountain West program (housed at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas) presents the facts and the narrative necessary for understanding what is happening in this region and why it is so important.


  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. America’s New Swing Region: The Political Demography and Geography of the Mountain West
  3. Metropolitan Voting Patterns in the Mountain West: The New and Old Political Heartlands
  4. Hispanics, Race, and the Changing Political Landscape of the United States Mountain West
  5. The Political Attitudes of the Millennial Generation in the Mountain West
  6. The Mountain West Today: A Regional Survey
  7. Reapportionment and Redistricting in the Mountain West

Contributors include:

  • Karlyn Bowman, American Enterprise Institute;

  • David Damore, University of Nevada–Las Vegas (UNLV);

  • William Frey, Brookings Institution;

  • Scott Keeter, Pew Research Center;

  • Robert E. Lang, Brookings, UNLV, and the Lincy Institute;

  • Tom Sanchez, Virginia Tech University; and

  • Ruy Teixeira, Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress.

Praise for the book:

"Why did a region so clearly identified with Barry Goldwater, Paul Laxalt, and Orrin Hatch start tilting Democratic in the last decade? Public opinion analyst Ruy Teixeira and a talented group of demographers, geographers, and political scientists explain why this has happened, and why the trend may continue. If you want to look more deeply into party divisions and population trends affecting the upcoming election, this is the book for you."—John B. Judis, Senior Editor, The New Republic

"Ruy Teixeira is one of our premier students of the interaction of demographic trends and electoral politics. America's New Swing Region is required reading for political junkies on all points of the political spectrum."—Michael Barone, principal author, The Almanac of American Politics

"Ruy Teixeira once again demonstrates his prowess for analyzing demographic changes and the political shifts that occur alongside them. For anyone, especially any political professional, who is thinking seriously about the national electoral landscape, this book is essential for understanding the dynamic shifts that have transformed the Mountain West into a critically important swing region."
—Joel Benenson, lead pollster for President Barack Obama

"All of the elements of America's decades-long demographic transformation—the Latino population boom, the rise of the college-educated upper middle class, the increasing diversity of the inner suburbs—come into particularly sharp relief in the mushrooming states of the Mountain West. What had been a Republican stronghold is now contested ground, where both major parties will invest enormous sums in 2012 and in many elections to come. America's New Swing Region is an indispensable guide to the states that now hold the key to the White House."—Reihan Salam, editor of The Agenda blog, National Review Online