The line that Donald Trump drew across the political map in 2016 was new, angry, and ragged. White people without college degrees and those who lived in small towns voted mostly for him, even if they had not been Republican voters before, while suburban professionals moved toward the Democrats. These new alignments are the shape of American politics. Democrats have won the House by sweeping suburbs in red and blue states alike. In Dallas and its suburbs, the Republican congressman Pete Sessions, a powerful member of his party's caucus, was beaten by the Democrat Colin Allred, a former N.F.L. player, attorney, and political novice.
Better Life Lab is a partnership of Slate and New America. In Suburban Slide, the Better Life Lab explores the changing face of poverty in the United States and how the symbol of American prosperity became the new place of poverty. In a six-part series, we explore what this means for Americans' work-life conflicts and American identity in general. In Betty Friedan's seminal 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, she describes the experience of the languishing American housewife. By staying at home to raise families and keep house in the suburbs, women had set aside their own happiness and potential for life in both the public and private spheres, and despair was the result.
In the U.S., the geography of poverty is shifting. According to a May report from the Pew Research Center, since 2000, suburban counties have experienced sharper increases in poverty than urban or rural counties. This is consistent with research across the U.S. over the past decade – as well as my own book, "Places in Need." The suburbanization of poverty is one of the most important demographic trends of the last 50 years. Poverty rates across the suburban landscape have increased by 50 percent since 1990.
And on Friday, a day after allegations emerged that the outspoken Christian conservative had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl decades ago, at least a few Republicans in one Birmingham suburb were having second thoughts about their party's nominee. "Really and truly, I cannot tell you what I'm going to do right now," said Carolyn Griffin of Calera, as she watched her dog Loxy exercise at Alabaster's Veterans Park. Griffin is the kind of voter who might be moved by the allegations, and suburban Shelby County is where other likeminded voters are located. While Alabama might be called the Heart of Dixie, much of Shelby County is Anysuburb USA, with subdivisions and strip malls sprawling ever farther south along traffic-choked highways leading out of Birmingham. The accusations against Moore come as Democrats are feeling increasingly optimistic about their strength in suburbs after Tuesday's elections in Virginia, New Jersey and other races.
Berwyn, United States - Kathy Jones' green eyes lit up as she heard Melania Trump stumble through her speech. Trump, who will become first lady if her husband Donald pulls off an upset in the US presidential election on Tuesday, was addressing an audience of about 2,000 this small Pennsylvania town in the Philadelphia suburbs. "We must find better ways to honour and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media," Trump said, striking a considerably softer tone than her husband has in his campaign. Jones nodded in agreement, lowering her chin to let her silver hair drop on her forehead. "I connected to her speech in a myriad of ways," Jones, a 55 stay-at-home mum and a former engineer from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, says.