The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, hosted The Political Geography of America’s Purple States: Five Trends That Will Decide the 2008 Election, a briefing on a new series of reports on the political demography of “purple” states in the 2008 election.
Purple states-or states where the current balance of political forces does not decisively favor one party or the other-will play an undeniably pivotal role in the upcoming election and include: Virginia and Florida in the South; the Intermountain West states of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona; Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio in the Heartland; and Pennsylvania.
On October 10, 2008 at the National Press Club in Washington DC, authors William Frey and Ruy Teixeira highlighted the political and demographic trends in these 10 battleground states, focusing not only on their role in the 2008 election, but their position as toss-ups in years to come.
The session opened with an overview of the demographic shifts shaping all the contested states studied, and evolved into a detailed presentation of the trends that are testing and reshaping the balance of their voting populations, focusing particularly on five trends that Frey and Teixeira believe will decide the 2008 election. Feedback from James Barnes, political correspondent for the National Journal, helped shape the conversation.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.