I owe somebody a hat tip for this…
Strange days… Per the NYTimes, those snowbird retirees and cheap-housing refugees who’ve been blamed for turning areas in New Hampshire and Maryland from red to purple, or even blue, may also be responsible for screwing up Eric Cantor’s and Thad Cochran’s “solid (Confederate) South” from the reactionary end of the political spectrum:
… [T]he growth fueled by a migration of newcomers from other parts of the country and even abroad is bringing nationalized politics to races further down the ballot. It was these new arrivals, more than any other voters, who most crucially rejected two influential Republican incumbents — the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi — in primaries this month, upending long-held assumptions about the appeal of traditional levers of power.
In the newly built communities of DeSoto County in Mississippi, and the fast-growing precincts in such metropolitan Richmond counties as Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield — what could be called the Chick-fil-A belt — the conservative challengers to the two incumbents led by overwhelming margins…
For all the talk about how partisan polarization is overwhelming Washington, there is another powerful, overlapping force at play: Voters who are not deeply rooted increasingly view politics through a generic national lens.
Friends-&-neighbors elections were already a thing of the past in congressional campaigns. But the axiom that “all politics is local” is increasingly anachronistic when ever-larger numbers of voters have little awareness of what incumbents did for their community in years past and are becoming as informed by cable television, talk radio and the Internet as by local sources of news. In this year’s primaries, the trend is lifting hard-liners, but it has benefited more moderate candidates in general elections….
In a rich historical turnabout, two states once ruled by native-born elites notorious for keeping voter participation low among poor whites and blacks have seen their politics sharply altered this year, in part because of surprisingly high turnout by transplants…
“We have a mobile population and its movement to the Sun Belt is making that region both more conservative and more moderate,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.
Apart from not-lamenting the all-too-slow erosion of the authoritarian privilege of the Magnolia Belt barons, what’s on the agenda for the start of another week?