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Politics and Polk

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As the I4 corridor, for several electoral cycles considered one of the "swingiest" areas in the country, has become more reliably Democratic in presidential cycles, I'm intrigued by what's going on in Polk County.


The modern Republican Party (an oxymoron? we'll consider that another day) has increasingly chosen to ignore urban areas as its base has become more suburban and exurban. There wasn't much mention of urban issues, for example, in the most recent platform. As a result (or maybe it's the other way 'round in chicken-and-egg fashion), more and more urban areas are trending Democratic (Orange, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties here in Florida, for example: 4 of the 5 largest in Texas; Orange and San Diego in California, etc.)


Interestingly, Polk County remains a red county, despite a population in excess of 600,000 folks. That's larger than a couple of states! Of course, none of the cities in Polk are particularly large and there's a lot of suburban sprawl going on surrounded by a good bit of agriculture, but it's still interesting that such a populous county outside the Deep South is still so reliably tied to the GOP. As a poli sci junkie, I've been looking for some research on this to see if there are other outliers with similar characteristics. Tarrant County, TX, as the only one of the top five counties in Texas that went for Romney over Obama in November (and with 1.8 million people) is another interesting case, but Texas is generally more Republican-leaning than Florida and I'm guessing there's some self-selection going on there with Democrats moving to Dallas and more traditional Republican sorts preferring Fort Worth.


Anyway, back in the I4 corridor, there was an interesting story about the success of Seminole County Democrats after a loooooong dry spell on the Sentinel website:,0,5053235.story


This despite Volusia narrowly going for Romney last month, a reversal for them. That seems to be a glitch but we'll have to see if it continues.


I'd welcome the thoughts of anyone who's in to political theory.

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