The Urban StrategyForget the South. Forget the Mid-West. For that matter, forget the Pacific Coast, Southwest, Northeast, and New England. Forget them all. Playing the maps of American super-regions and states will make certain that Democrats lose every time.
I have been staring at this map of voting results by county. On the surface it looks more bleak that the states map: vast spaces of Republican red barely penetrated by blobs of Democrat blue.
I have stared at the counties map a lot, trying to figure it out. It shows where Democrats have their strength: areas along borders, urban networks, maritime ports. Almost all of their victories came from urban counties. The most surprising result for me was all the blue that surrounds the Mississippi River.
The counties map might tell of dwindling influence, but it also shows a clear advantage. Those blue spots produced almost as many votes as all that red. They are cities and their regions. It might be useful for the Democratic Party to concentrate on its urban politics (economic development, safety and policing, anti-terrorism) as a means of attacking many places at once. Furthermore, they should not limit planning to the cities themselves, but to their suburbs as well. Get people to realize that they have a stake in the health of their nearby metropolis.