The Coming Realignment

Cities, Class, and Ideology After Social Conservatism

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Following Barack Obama’s historic victory in 2008, pundits posited that a new Democratic majority would dominate American politics for generations to come. But according to Michael Lind, no such majority will hold: political conflict is with us to stay, though traditional terms like 'left', 'right', and 'center' will take on new meanings. Thanks to a shift in generational values among Millennials, social conservatism is experiencing a rapid, terminal decline. As issues like “God, gays, and guns” become less and less relevant to Americans' worldviews and political preferences, the Left/Right axis will experience a radical realignment. Economic attitudes will become the central battleground of politics, leading to the emergence of two new groups, the populiberals and liberaltarians, each clustering in its own unique geographical niche. Forget “red states” and “blue states": the rural and peri-urban Posturbia and the urban Densitaria will be the key new constituencies on tomorrow's political map. The implications for American politics and policy couldn't be greater.

April 28, 2014 | Michael Lind,

Read a summary of the essay here.

God, gays, and guns. The era in which controversies over so-called social issues like these defined the Right and the Left in American politics is rapidly coming to an end, thanks to the pronounced liberalism of the youngest cohort of Americans—the Millennial generation, whose members were born in 1981 or later.

God? Millennials are the least religious of Americans. A quarter are “nones” or unaffiliated, according to a Gospel Coalition poll, and fewer than one in ten say that religion is important in their lives.1

Guns? According to a Gallup poll, fewer Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 own guns (20 percent) than the national average (30 percent).2 And a majority of Millennials support gun control: 56 percent, according to a National Journal poll,3 and 59 percent, according to Pew.4

Gays? According to a Pew poll, the Millennials are the only cohort in which a majority (70 percent) support gay marriage.5

Millennials are also more likely than members of older generations to describe themselves as liberal, according to a 2009 Pew poll: 29 percent, compared to 40 percent moderate and 28 percent conservative.6 Only 20 percent of members of Generation X, 18 percent of Baby Boomers, and 15 percent of members of the Silent Generation describe themselves as liberal.7 While individuals often become somewhat more conservative as they grow older, it seems likely that the Millennial generation will permanently shift American attitudes to the left—on social issues, if not necessarily on economics.

Thanks to generational shifts in values like these, it is likely that in the decades ahead there will be a dramatic realignment in American politics. Although it is likely to reshape the two major parties, it will not be a mere “partisan realignment” of the kind studied by political scientists. Rather, it will be a realignment of American public philosophies or political worldviews. This worldview realignment will be accentuated by a number of long-term demographic and cultural changes. But the chief catalyst of the realignment will be the near-universal victory of social liberalism. In a nation in which both parties are socially liberal, existing coalitions are likely to break up and reform in striking ways.

1.

My argument begins with the familiar observation that Americans today are divided about social issues like gay rights and abortion as well as about economic issues like inequality, taxes, wages, and trade. These cross-cutting and overlapping disagreements produce a pattern of political worldviews that is more complex than a simple Left–Right political spectrum. A closer approximation to reality is provided by a four-square grid, in which one axis represents support for social liberalism and the other support for economic libertarianism, defined as antigovernment and pro-market attitudes. (In the rest of the world, “liberalism” is used to mean the anti-statist, pro-market alternative to “social democracy” or “progressivism,” but in the United States, “social democracy,” “progressivism,” and “liberalism” are often used as synonyms; to avoid confusion I use the term “libertarianism” for opposition to a large role for the state in the economic realm, and the term “liberalism” for support for an active and generous government.)

When political and economic attitudes are correlated in this way, four worldviews result:

            Liberalism: social liberalism combined with economic liberalism.

            Conservatism: economic libertarianism with state enforcement of conservative values in the social realm (for example, laws against abortion and sodomy).

            Libertarianism: anti-statism in both the social and economic realms.

            Populism: a combination of economic liberalism and social conservatism.

If the United States used a version of proportional representation, the electoral system that is used by most other modern democracies, it might have a multiparty system in which most or all of those worldviews were represented. In Germany, for example, the Social Democrats have traditionally occupied what I am calling the consistent liberal position; the Christian Democrats are close to American populists in their combination of moderately conservative social values with support for a welfare state and “social market economy”; and there is even a moderately libertarian party, the Free Democrats. But the first-past-the-post plurality electoral system inherited by the U.S. from Britain, which penalizes third parties, tends to ensure that two major parties will always exist, imposed on a population that is not divided along simply binary lines.

As a result, American parties are coalitions, not merely of interest groups, but also of what might be called worldview groups. So are broad American political movements. The American Left has long included a dwindling number of socially conservative working-class union members as well as socially liberal upper-middle-class reformers. Similarly, the contemporary American Right is divided between a white working-class populist base suspicious of Wall Street and a libertarian political class funded by Wall Street and serving its interests.

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, white working-class populists were the most important swing vote in American politics. Alienated by the Civil Rights revolution and the adoption of social liberalism by Democratic leaders and activists during and after the 1960s, many former Democratic voters retained their support for middle-class social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare and distrusted the Republican Party, which was identified too closely with the rich, business, and finance.

The only two-term presidents of this period, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, succeeded in electoral terms by playing to the values of non-Hispanic white populist swing voters. Reagan exploited the white working-class animus toward socially liberal elites and the welfare-dependent poor, while quietly dropping his early plans to cut or dismantle Social Security and other programs popular with the white working class. With equal success, Clinton did the reverse, distancing himself from social liberals in his party by symbolic stances including support for police and “law and order,” support of the death penalty, opposition to gay marriage and to military service by openly gay soldiers, and a well-calculated attack on Sister Souljah, a black rapper who rhetorically wondered: “If Black people kill Black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?"8

Populist Reagan Democrats were not the only group alienated from both parties in late twentieth-century America. A substantial minority of consistent libertarians supported social liberalism and moderate libertarian economic policies, such as deregulation, smaller government, and free trade and immigration. They were found in both the libertarian wing of the GOP and the neoliberal wing of the Democrats. But while their base among the rich and upper-middle-class professionals gave them influence far out of proportion to their numbers, they lacked the numbers to be important swing voters on the scale of the blue-collar Reagan Democrats.

2.

This post-1960s pattern of crisscross alliances and appeals among liberals, conservatives, populists, and libertarians is likely to be radically simplified, as a result of the triumph of social liberalism in the American electorate.

Younger generations are increasingly liberal and secular on social issues compared with their older counterparts. On social issues, nearly three in four Millennials now support same-sex marriage.9 Millennials are more likely to view the increasing numbers of interracial relationships and women in the workforce as positive changes and are less concerned about the rise of unmarried parents.10 In a reversal from 1990s attitudes, more young women than young men say that being professionally successful is very important in their lives.11

Increasing liberalism in social values is associated with declining religious belief and affiliation. While Americans remain more religious than most people in other developed nations,12 the pace of secularization in the U.S. is striking. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life,13 in 2012 just under 20 percent of Americans claimed no religious affiliation, an increase of 5 percentage points in only five years. While a majority of the unaffiliated claim to believe in God, 6 percent of Americans describe themselves as atheists and agnostics. Among adults under 30, one-third have no religious affiliation, compared to one-fifth in the population as a whole. The most recent General Social Survey found that 26 percent of people ages 18 to 30—the Millennials—had no affiliation with a particular religion.14 If it were a denomination, the unaffiliated group would be the fastest growing “religion” in America.15 It is possible that Millennials might become somewhat more religious as they age.16 But it is more likely that the U.S. is simply a laggard in a global trend toward secularization in advanced industrial societies that is more mature in the increasingly post-Christian societies of Europe.

Taken together, these trends augur the disappearance of two of the squares in the imaginary four-square grid built from interacting social and economic attitudes. The two positions that are likely to dwindle in importance, if not disappear altogether, are the two positions that are characterized by conservative views on social issues: populism and conservatism. In an America in which the electorate shares a consensus on social liberalism, only two major political worldviews would remain: liberalism (social liberalism combined with support for large, activist government) and libertarianism (social liberalism combined with opposition to large, activist government).

The replacement of four broad political worldviews by two, thanks to the collapse of social conservatism, will lead to changes in political terminology and alterations in major-party voting patterns that will be surprising and unforeseen. But some predictions can be ventured.

To begin with, the terms “liberal” or “progressive” and “conservative” are likely to have quite different meanings a generation from now. These terms change their meaning every generation or two. In the early 1950s, American conservatives supported protectionism and isolationism. By the 1980s, American conservatism stood for free trade and a hawkish foreign policy.      

The tendency in popular discourse to classify movements and parties as being on the left or the right originated in the seating arrangements of the revolutionary French national assembly in the eighteenth century and will probably persist. If the major division in American politics a generation from now pits what today would be called liberals against what today would be called libertarians, it is likely that the terms “Left” and “Right” will be assigned to those two broad schools of thought. But as I will argue, it might be a mistake to equate libertarian, Right, and Republican; or progovernment, Left, and Democrat.

For the purposes of this discussion, and to avoid premature assignment of emerging worldviews to the left or the right, I propose to call the two broad political movements that I am predicting liberaltarians and populiberals.

The term liberaltarian is already in use, to describe a broad camp including neoliberal Democrats skeptical of government in the economic sphere along with libertarian Republicans and independents who recognize the need for more government than libertarian ideologues believe to be legitimate.

Populiberal is my own coinage. It describes social liberals who share the liberal social values of liberaltarians, but who tend to be more egalitarian and to favor a greater role for the government in matters like social insurance, business-labor relations, and redistribution of income. Populiberal parties in this sense would include the socially liberal members of parties or movements that are considered to be on the right in other democracies, such as German Christian Democrats or French Gaullists who support legal abortion and gay rights.

3.

Until this point, this discussion has focused on abstract ideology. It is time to provide more context to the picture I am painting, by incorporating more demographic and geographic detail.

The contested terrain between economic issues and social issues is often the home of lifestyle politics and identity politics. Both will continue to exist in some form, even if most Americans eventually adopt progressive positions on issues involving sex and reproduction or the relationship between church and state. Indeed, even if some kinds of identity politics, based on racial polarization and religious disputes, fade in political importance over time, new conflicts will emerge. Differences of interest and value in economic matters are likely to be expressed indirectly through a new politics of lifestyle and identity based less on who Americans are than on where they live.

Following the convention that assigns the color red to signify Republican electoral victories and blue to the Democratic Party, Americans have fallen into the habit of talking about “red states” and “blue states” or even “red America” and “blue America.” But an examination of results in presidential and congressional elections at the level of counties or congressional districts produces a much more kaleidoscopic map, in which Democratic-leaning blue urban areas tend to be surrounded by Republican-leaning red suburbs, exurbs, and rural regions.17 While historic differences among regions like the South and New England continue to shape politics, this distinction within states rather than among them may be a clue to the future of American politics.

In the next generation, we may see the continuing emergence of two societies on American soil, with quite different patterns of class structure, economic organization, and government. At the risk of burdening readers with too many neologisms, I propose calling these societies Densitaria and Posturbia. Densitaria is the natural political-geographic base of liberaltarianism, just as Posturbia is the natural political-geographic base of populiberalism.

By Densitaria I mean high-density downtowns of major cities, as well as high-density business and residential sectors spread throughout broader metropolitan areas. As urban experts like Joel Kotkin have pointed out, what I am calling Densitaria is the next stage in the continuing evolution of urban areas in the U.S. and similar advanced industrial societies.18 In the twentieth century, thanks to trucking and the electric grid, factory production migrated out of downtowns to low-cost suburbs or exurbs or foreign countries. Business headquarters and high-end financial and business services remained, clustered in the urban core. Corporate and foundation headquarters will remain downtown in major cities like New York and San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But as much of their clerical labor is displaced by automation, outsourcing, or offshoring, the headquarters buildings are losing much of their practical function and are becomming trophies for executives and shareholders. In cities like New York and San Francisco, the older mixed economy is giving way to a plutonomy, to use a term coined by Ajay Kapur—an economy characterized by high-end luxury goods and services.19

As the working class and many middle-class professionals abandon Densitaria for the cheaper housing and office parks of Posturbia, the high-density downtowns and suburban villages are coming to have an hourglass-shaped social structure, with wealthy individuals at the top, many of them rentiers living off their investments, and a large luxury-service proletariat at the bottom. Increasingly, the  service proletariat in Densitarian areas in the U.S., and also in Europe, is foreign-born.

Geographic variations in inequality are familiar in the U.S. today, of course. According to 2012 U.S. Census data, the most equal states during the period 2008-2012 were Alaska, Utah, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Idaho, Hawaii, and Iowa. At the other extreme, the most unequal states during the same period were the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and California.20 The states that win their dubious prizes in the inequality sweepstakes do so thanks largely to particular Densitarian urban regions—the D.C. metro area, the greater New York region, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles.

With its combination of economic libertarianism and social liberalism, liberaltarianism as a public philosophy appeals to the Densitarian rich, including many Democratic members of urban economic elites. Liberaltarianism justifies not only their values, like support for legal abortion and same-sex marriage, but also their interests, like the low taxes on capital gains that benefit so many in the investor class.

Liberaltarianism is not libertarianism. It is compatible with support for some kind of welfare state. But the hourglass class system of Densitaria argues for a means-tested safety net, rather than universal, middle-class social insurance.

Traditional universal social insurance, like Social Security and Medicare, chiefly benefits the middle class defined as the median class (including most of what is called the working class in other countries). In return, the broad middle class is the chief source of funding for social insurance, by means of universal, flat payroll taxes or similar universal levies. Most welfare transfers are from working-age members of the broad middle to members of their own class who cannot work—because they are old, young, sick, disabled, or temporarily unemployed. The universal middle-class version of the welfare state is solidarity, not charity.

In highly unequal societies—like many Latin American countries, or cities like New York and San Francisco—the middle of the metaphorical hourglass is squeezed between the rich and the poor. In such a social order, the argument for means-testing the welfare state, eliminating negligible benefits for the rich in order to somewhat expand benefits for the poor, may seem to be more persuasive.

The opposite logic holds in the low-density, low-rent environment of Posturbia, consisting of residential neighborhoods that are dominated by single-family housing and decentralized office parks, malls, and stores. Because the rich, in America as elsewhere, prefer to congregate in expensive, fashionable urban neighborhoods, there will be relatively few rich people in Posturbia. At the same time, the pattern of single-family housing has the effect of excluding people who are too poor to own homes rather than rent.

For these reasons, the emergent society of Posturbia is much more egalitarian than that of Densitaria, by default more than by design. While Densitarian urban areas have an hourglass social structure, the Posturbian suburbs, exurbs, and small towns tend to have a diamond-shaped class system, with few rich, few poor, and a dominant middle. In this environment, universal social insurance—based on the bargain that everybody works, everybody pays, and everybody benefits—can be expected to seem more practical and to win more political support than in the hierarchical Densitarian downtowns.

Another fault line in national politics will be federal tax policy. Posturbian populiberals might seek to tax the liberaltarian rich of Densitaria to pay for universal social insurance and public services for the working class. Conversely, the liberaltarian elite might seek to force Posturbia to shoulder the burdens of paying for their servants among the local Densitarian poor and bailing out the Densitarian rich (for example, by means of federal bailouts like TARP).

The populiberals of Posturbia and the liberaltarians of Densitaria are likely to disagree as well as on the question of the “nanny state”—that is, the legitimacy of efforts by government to manipulate the behavior of citizens for their own benefit. The nanny state is the natural corollary of the means-tested welfare state. If, by being means-tested, the welfare state turns from a system of transfers within the broad middle class into a kind of government-mediated charity or philanthropy, in which the rich are taxed to provide a safety net for the poor, the rich are likely to insist that the poor be persuaded or compelled to avoid behaviors that drive up the costs of their lifestyle mistakes to the government. Consider billionaire New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to reduce obesity among the urban poor. His use of methods like banning large-size soft drinks21 is a perfect example of liberaltarian behavioral cost containment, presented as altruism.     

Populiberals might agree with liberaltarian champions of the nanny state with respect to many goals, like promoting healthy behavior. But they are likely to be wary of attempts at top-down social and moral engineering by economic and political elites. One response might be a populist “don’t tread on me” attitude toward public attempts to micromanage individual behavior in the name of the individual’s own good, whether by conditions on social insurance or tax-based nudges. Transposed to behavioral regulation, the universalist logic of populiberalism would support direct, black-letter regulation by means of laws or ordinances over elite attempts at subtle manipulation of the behavior of citizens.

The split between Posturbia and Densitaria may be most apparent with regard to environmental issues and identities. The property-owning majorities of Posturbia are likely to be more sensitive to restrictions on what property owners can do with their property than the majorities in Densitarian downtowns and edge cities, in which not only the working poor and the working class but also many professionals must rent because they cannot afford to buy a home. With much of the economy of Densitaria drawn from rents from finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) industries, local elites can favor stringent environmental regulations at little cost to their own paper-based, white collar industries and incomes. In contrast, most productive economic activities, including manufacturing, agriculture, and mining, including fossil fuel extraction, will occur far from upscale downtowns and neighborhoods; and the communities that view these activities as a source of local prosperity are more likely to weigh the costs as well as the benefits of environmental policies.  

The evolving Posturbian populiberal coalition will likely take a different view of energy production and climate change than the Densitarian liberaltarian coalition. The environmental agenda of liberaltarian Densitaria has mostly driven Democratic climate and energy policy in recent decades, characterized by complex pollution trading schemes that would benefit the financial sector, energy taxes that would disproportionately hurt the industrial sectors of Posturbia, efforts to halt energy projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, Keynesian energy retrofitting programs for the urban poor, and subsidized solar panels for the wealthy.

A populiberal coalition that favored mitigation of global warming might offer very different climate and energy policies than the liberaltarian solutions that dominate debate today, embracing expanded gas and nuclear energy production to meet the demands of Posturbia’s more energy intensive economic base while reducing air pollution and carbon emissions. Already, a boom in natural gas fracking has resulted in an annual $100 billion stimulus to the economy in the form of lower energy prices since 2007, as well as hundreds of thousands of new working-class jobs,22 mostly in Posturbia. In the process gas has displaced coal in the nation’s energy mix, reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.23

Such a realignment might not necessarily end up on the Republican side of the ledger. The fracking boom in swing states like Ohio helped re-elect President Obama in 2012.24 In a major climate speech in the summer of 2013, Obama further embraced the fracking boom as an explicit strategy to address climate change,25 breaking with his Party’s Densitarian wing. Many Posturbian Democrats have broken with the Party’s Densitarian wing over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Cap and trade legislation, conversely, went down to ignominious defeat in the face of opposition in the Senate from populiberal Democrats like Sherrod Brown from Ohio,26 while a growing number of prominent Republicans, most of them out of office, have embraced modest carbon pricing in exchange for regressive tax cuts as part of a broad push for tax reform.

4.

My argument is that, as a result of spreading social liberalism, in the realm of public philosophy today’s divisions among liberals, conservatives, populists, and libertarians will gradually be simplified into a binary division among liberaltarians and populiberals who share social liberalism but disagree on other things. Each of these worldviews, moreover, is likely to have a home address—the income-stratified communities of Densitaria, in the case of liberaltarianism, and the less unequal communities of Posturbia, in the case of populiberalism.

To be sure, other factors—ethnic, regional, economic, religious—will complicate this picture. And the two major political parties will continue to be coalitions of other groups in the electorate and the donor class, at the price of inconsistency.

Nevertheless, it seems safe to predict that, if American attitudes evolve along the lines that I have suggested, liberaltarians will be more concentrated in one party and populiberals more concentrated in its rival. Which public philosophy is likely to dominate which party? Different scenarios can be imagined.

In one scenario, the Republican Party would be primarily identified with liberaltarianism. This would not be the result of a purge of social conservatives by social liberals, of the kind that is sometimes discussed today. Remember, my premise is that in a generation or two an overwhelming majority of Americans will share attitudes that are considered socially liberal today, on matters of sex, reproduction, and the separation of church and state. Both parties are likely to adopt social liberalism.

Rather, in the scenario I am discussing, in which social liberalism has been adopted by all influential wings of the GOP, the liberaltarian wing would defeat the populiberal wing. Republican liberaltarians would abandon the extreme-libertarian goal of abolishing the welfare state by privatizing it. But their anti-statism and opposition to higher taxes would lead them to support a cheaper, means-tested liberaltarian safety net for the poor over a universalist social insurance system for the middle-class majority.

The triumph of low-tax, means-testing liberaltarians in the Republican Party could drive many non-Hispanic white working-class and middle-class voters into a Democratic Party that stood for universal benefits paid for by higher taxes. To the extent that they no longer shared the racial prejudices and conservative views on sex and reproduction of their populist “Reagan Democrat” parents or grandparents, these members of the white working class would be straightforward liberals, sharing a common, mostly economic agenda with the majority of blacks and Latinos. Downscale whites might become part of the base of a Populiberal Democratic Party, as they have not been since the New Deal/Great Society era.

But another scenario is possible. In the second scenario, the trend toward the identification of the Democrats with the economic elites of Wall Street and the FIRE sector, which began with Clinton and has continued to some degree under Obama, would make the Democrats the liberaltarian party. Even more than at present, the Democrats would be the party of Densitarian populations—the downtown and edge city elites and their supporting staff of disproportionately foreign-born, low-wage service workers.

In this scenario, the Republicans would become the Populiberal party of Posturbia. By dropping the coded racist appeals that have been used by Republican politicians since the backlash against the Civil Rights revolution, the GOP might attempt to join blacks and Latinos to a more socially liberal, white working-class base.

But a populiberal Republican Party, based among the multiracial working class and middle class of low-density areas, would need to abandon economic libertarianism, in favor of support for a universalist welfare state instead of a means-tested safety net. The intellectuals, politicians, and donors on the right for whom the holy grail is the destruction of middle-class entitlements like Social Security and Medicare would need to be marginalized in the Republican Party or driven to a more liberaltarian Democratic Party, which embraced means-testing even as the GOP abandoned it.

If I am right, then those who predict a permanent Democratic majority based on the relative growth of the nonwhite population may be wrong. At present the Democrats enjoy the support of majorities of Latinos and supermajorities of black Americans.27 This permits the Democrats to champion expansions both of means-tested welfare programs and of universal social insurance—while Republicans attack both versions of the welfare state.

But this situation is unlikely to last. For one thing, as white voters with residual racist attitudes dwindle as a share of the electorate, Republicans who seek to create a more racially inclusive party are likely to succeed in making their party more friendly to racial and religious minorities, undercutting the advantage of the Democrats.

At the same time, the increasing racial liberalism of American society may also lead to greater emphasis on economic divides, rather than racial divisions. The latent tension within the Democratic coalition between the urban poor who depend on means-tested welfare and the suburban working-class and middle-class Americans of all races who make too much money to be eligible for most means-tested anti-poverty programs might turn into a chasm between two transformed parties. If anti-Latino nativism on the right fades, there is no reason to believe that assimilated, middle-class Latinos in a few generations will vote like poor recent immigrants from Latin America in the downtowns of Densitaria rather than like their own non-Latino neighbors who live next door in Posturbia. Instead of a politics of cross-class coalitions within races, a much less racist America might witness the emergence of more important cross-racial coalitions within classes.

5.

It may be that I am mistaken and that none of these scenarios will come to pass. But a political system in which all major variants of public philosophy are represented in both national parties seems unlikely, except in a transitional period. If the triumph of social liberalism does produce a new contest between liberaltarianism and populiberalism, the U.S. is likely to end up with both a predominantly liberaltarian party and a predominantly populiberal one. To be sure, my provocative terms will not be used; the existing terminology of “Left” and “Right,” “conservative” and “liberal” (or “progressive”) will almost certainly continue to be used, with new meanings.  Tomorrow there will be a Left, a Right, and a Center—but the Left, Right and Center of tomorrow will not be those of today.

 

1. Robert P. Jones, et al, A Generation in Transition, Public Religion Research Institute and Berkley Center for Religion, Peace &World Affairs, Washington, DC, April 19, 2012, http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Millennials-Survey-Report.pdf

2. Jeffrey M. Jones, “Men, Married, and Southerners Most Likely to Be Gun Owners,” Gallup, Washington, DC, February 1, 2013, http://www.gallup.com/poll/160223/men-married-southerners-likely-gun-owners.aspx.

3. Shane Goldmacher, “Poll Finds That Obama’s Base Overlaps with Gun-Control Coalition,” National Journal, January 13, 2013, http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressional-connection/coverage/poll-finds-that-obama-s-base-overlaps-with-gun-control-coalition-20130114.

4. Michael Dimock and Carroll Doherty, “Gun Rights Proponents More Politically Active,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, January 14, 2013, http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/01-14-13 Gun Policy Release.pdf.

5. "Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, March 2014, http://features.pewforum.org/same-sex-marriage-attitudes/slide2.php.

6. “Democrats’ Edge Among Millenials Slips,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, February 18, 2010, http://www.pewresearch.org/2010/02/18/democrats-edge-among-millennials-slips/.

7. Ibid.

8. Rosie Swash, “Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah Moment Tops Year of Political Controversy,” The Guardian, June 12, 2011, http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jun/13/bill-clinton-sister-souljah.

9. “Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage.”

10. “Democrats’ Edge Among Millenials Slips.”

11. Eileen Patten and Kim Parker, “A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, April 19, 2012, http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/04/19/a-gender-reversal-on-career-aspirations/.

12. Gert Pickel, Religion Monitor: An International Comparison of Religious Belief, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Germany, 2013, http://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/cps/rde/xbcr/SID-345721E1-09996853/bst_engl/xcms_bst_dms_38081__2.pdf.

13. “’Nones’ on the Rise,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, October 9, 2012, http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/.

14. “Religion Among Millenials,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, February 17, 2010, http://www.pewforum.org/2010/02/17/religion-among-the-millennials/.

15. “Denominational Affiliation (Overview),” Association of Religious Data Archives, University Park, PA, 2010, http://www.thearda.com/quickstats/qs_102_t.asp.

16. “Millenials in Adulthood,” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC, March 7, 2014, http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/.

17. “2012 Electoral Map: Barack Obama,” PoliticalMaps.org, November 6, 2012, http://politicalmaps.org/2012-electoral-map/.

18. Joel Kotkin, “Houston Rising: Why The Next Great American Cities Aren’t What You Think,” Daily Beast, April 8, 2013, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/08/houston-rising-why-the-next-great-american-cities-aren-t-what-you-think.html.

19. Robert Frank, “Plutonomics,” The Wealth Report (blog), Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2007, http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2007/01/08/plutonomics/.

20. American Fact Finder, US Census Bureau, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

21. Michael Grynbaum, “Health Panel Approves Restrictions on Sales of Large Sugary Drinks,” New York Times, September 13, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/nyregion/health-board-approves-bloombergs-soda-ban.html?_r=0.

22. Jim Efstathiou Jr., “Fracking Will Support 1.7 Million Jobs, Study Shows,” Bloomberg Businessweek, October 23, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-10-23/fracking-will-support-1-dot-7-million-jobs-study-shows.

23. Alex Trembath, et al, Coal Killer, Breakthrough Institute, Oakland, CA, June 25, 2013, http://thebreakthrough.org/images/main_image/Breakthrough_Institute_Coal_Killer.pdf.

24. Jim Snyder, “Ohio’s Gas-Fracking Boom Seen Aiding Obama in Swing State,” Bloomberg, September 4, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/ohio-s-gas-fracking-boom-seen-aiding-obama-in-swing-state.html.

25. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President on Climate Change” (speech, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, June 25, 2013) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/25/remarks-president-climate-change.

26. Jesse Jenkins, “The Sherrod Brown Test: Finding Consensus on Climate Policy,” the Breakthrough, April 23, 2009, http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/the_sherrod_brown_test_finding.

27. Frank Newport, “Democrats Racially Diverse; Republicans Mostly White,” Gallup, Princeton, NJ, February 8, 2013, http://www.gallup.com/poll/160373/democrats-racially-diverse-republicans-mostly-white.aspx.


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