Representative Mark Kirk, of suburban Chicago, is worried by the trend of inner suburbs ("inurbs") trending Democrat,m while the fast—growing exurbs are strongly GOP. Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard about Kirk's plan to focus on issues which appeal to inner suburban families. It is well worth reading.
A lot of this shift is attributable to how skillful Bill Clinton was in the '90s painting the Republicans as a bigoted Southern—dominated party committed to strict social controls (especially about abortion), but also suggesting in a more subtle way that they were racist (opposed to Medicaid and helping the poor), and favoring big business over the environment.
The social issue agenda was particulalry effective in moving many suburban women from the GOP (choice mattered more than lower tax rates), the start of a wide gender gap in voting patterns. Clinton basically pushed a cultural superiority connection to the Democratic Party (Republicans were a party dominated by rubes). So far, the Democrats' gains in the close in suburbs have held.
Richard Baehr 12 25 05