The New Suburban Politics: An Analysis of Metropolitan Voting Trends Since 2000

Alan Berube,
Alan Berube Interim Vice President and Director - Brookings Metro

Robert E. Lang, and
Robert E. Lang Former Brookings Expert
Thomas W. Sanchez

February 28, 2008

Robert Lang, Thomas Sanchez and Alan Berube explore trends in metropolitan areas from recent national elections to gauge the outcome of the 2008 race. They employ a new suburban typology, identifying five distinct geographies, and show a shift toward Democratic majorities among voters as communities urbanize.

They find that during the previous races, densely populated areas in and around metropolitan cores tended to favor Democrats, while areas on the metropolitan fringe had huge returns for Republicans. However, the outlying areas most likely would not be able to hold off future Democratic gains as those communities become more urban.