Going Home Again
People tend to vote similarly
to their families and their communities. But over the past twenty years, political parties, suburbs and cities have undergone some dramatic shifts.
Patchwork Nation's Dante Chinni spent part of last week in his hometown of Warren, Michigan, which is representative of the "monied burbs" and is the birthplace of the Reagan Democrats . This year, the area is leaning towards Sen. Barack Obama.
"The place is really getting hammered by the
economy. There are commercial properties for rent or boarded up on every nearly
every block in
"Taken together, "Monied 'Burbs" are the most populous county type in Patchwork Nation, with more than 80 million people total. They tend to split their votes between Democrats and Republicans - and Reagan Democrats have fit right in."
But how much money does it take
to be 'monied'? Chinni finds that even Joe the Plumber is making well above what
the average family in a monied burb makes.
"A very simple bottom line there... There is NOTHING average about a Joe (or Sam) that makes $250,000 a year, leaving aside the issue about what Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher actually makes," Chinni writes. "No one, including Mr. Wurzelbacher, is saying he would currently have to pay more under Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, in which taxes would begin to rise at an income level of $250,000. While Wurzelbacher's 2007 income isn't generally known, the average annual income for plumbers is somewhere between $45,000 and $50,000."
Has your community changed its politics in the time you've lived there? What category would you put your hometown in?