Skip to content
CityLab
Housing

The 2010 Midterm Wave Rewrote America’s Political Geography. Will 2018 Do It Again?

In 2010, Republicans established a new normal by dominating rural areas. Now, CityLab’s analysis shows it’s the suburbs that are up for grabs.
relates to The 2010 Midterm Wave Rewrote America’s Political Geography. Will 2018 Do It Again?
David Montgomery/CityLab

The current political geography of the United States was forged eight years ago, when Republicans swept back from the political wilderness to seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This year, Democrats have the opportunity to disrupt the new normal once again if they succeed in sweeping a blue wave through the suburbs.

That new normal is Republican dominance in rural districts, and it didn’t exist before 2010, according to an analysis using CityLab’s Congressional Density Index, which categorizes districts by their makeup of urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods. CityLab’s past analysis has found that density is increasingly correlated with politics, and that the suburbs will be the swing districts in the November House election.