I’m off for Thanksgiving to Kane County, Ill., which is Chicago’s version of our Loudoun County in Virginia. For those of you who don’t know Loudoun, it’s a county where subdivisions and strip malls have quickly replaced farmland in the last 15 years.
Kane is also the easternmost county in retiring former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s 14th District, which CQ calls “potentially an intriguing bellweather.”
CQ notes that Democrats have had success recently in exurbs, which were formerly Republican strongholds. I think it’s important to note, however, that exurban voters are not going blue. Rather, they are independent voters who have been siding with Democrats.
In Loudoun County and the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, Democrats have been rising because they’ve been running on a platform of effective governing. And that’s mostly what these voters care about – education and traffic.
I wrote a National Journal article about these types of voters in August titled “Is North Carolina the New Virginia?” It asked whether the changes and growth in Wake County, N.C. are similar to those that occurred in Fairfax County, Va. a couple of decades ago.
So, is Kane County, Ill. like Loudoun County, Va.? I’ll report back to you on Monday. In the meantime, here is some great Thanksgiving reading:
- Reid Wilson dives into the newly released 2008 Almanac for American Politics and analyzes the ten fastest-growing and the ten fastest-shrinking congressional districts. Our question: how is LA-02 not on this list?
- CQ notes that the race to replace Hastert could measure Democrats’ support in the exurbs.
- Serious Sports News Network has Obama and McCain agreeing that the Electoral College makes about as much sense as the BCS.
- San Diego Union-Tribune reports on the latest effort to revive “Republican-sponsored initiative to change the way California’s presidential electoral votes are allocated.”
- This isn’t map related, but as a sportsman, it’s great to see Kent Conrad and Mike Huckabee honored by Outdoor Life for their contributions to hunting and fishing.
Have a great week and don’t forget that the first Thanksgiving was not in Massachusetts. It was in the proud commonwealth of Virginia. Happy 400th birthday Virginia.