Immigration Nation

April 30, 2012
If you were searching for a one-word description for the American electorate in 2012, or even in the past few elections, “volatile” would almost certainly be on your short list. Looking at the results from the recent elections is enough to give you a case of whiplash. Big Democratic wins in 2006 and 2008 gave way to a GOP landslide in 2010 and it all sets the table for what most believe will be a close presidential race this fall. Those are some serious mood swings, but they’re not completely surprising when you consider the economic troubles that have been rocking the U.S. in recent years. Volatile times make for volatile voters – and that is particularly true it seems for some places. Working with data from the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Patchwork Nation has broken its 12 county types into three broader groups – Core Democratic Counties, Core Republican Counties and Competitive Counties. Month-to-month numbers slow fluctuations in all...
February 29, 2012
There have been more than a few twists and turns on the road to this year’s Republican presidential nomination, but one tried-and-true 2012 GOP storyline reemerged in Michigan on Tuesday night: Mitt Romney’s strength lies in wealthy communities and he has trouble most everywhere else. Out of Michigan there has been talk about things like Democratic voter hijinks, absentee voters and older voters, but when you really look at the results using Patchwork Nation, the dominant story remains one of wealthy, educated communities versus lower-income blue-collar ones. Using Patchwork Nation’s demographic/geographic breakdown of county types, former Massachusetts Gov. Romney won all the types that tend to be better educated and better off – the Monied Burbs, Boom Towns, Industrial Metropolis and Campus and Careers counties. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won all the other county types – the Emptying Nests, Evangelical Epicenters, Service Worker...
February 8, 2012
So what exactly happened Tuesday night? Suddenly former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has reemerged from the pack to claim the spotlight with three wins – Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri – while front-runner Mitt Romney is combing through the wreckage. The former Massachusetts governor is arguing that last night was ultimately just a bump on the road to the nomination. No delegates were committed and he did not campaign hard in the states that held contests. Still, three losses in one night was tough for Romney, a blow to his momentum at the very least. And as bad as the Tuesday results were at the state level for Mr. Romney, they were actually worse in some ways when you break the votes down to the county-level using Patchwork Nation. Romney’s Bad Night Romney did not win a single county in Minnesota or Missouri. He won 16 counties in Colorado, but there was a definite pattern to his wins and it centered on income. The average median household income...
February 7, 2012
Follow Tuesday's vote LIVE with the Patchwork Nation breakdowns from WNYC here: COLORADO, MINNESOTA and MISSOURI The big political story out of Tuesday night will be who wins the contests on the schedule – Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Those final tallies will determine the momentum in the Republican presidential battle going forward. But beyond the simple question of statewide winners and losers there are more subtle and significant measures to keep an eye on in the results tonight. Patchwork Nation’s demographic/geographic breakdown can offer insights that extend beyond win-loss column. Use this crib sheet along with WNYC’s live maps for COLORADO, MINNESOTA and MISSOURI to follow which candidates are winning in Patchwork Nation’s 12 county types. What to Watch for in Colorado Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won big in Florida among Hispanics and won overall in the counties Patchwork Nation calls Immigration Nation – counties...
February 1, 2012
With a dominating win in Florida, the Romney campaign moves forward with a nice push of momentum into February. And now, well, who knows? The one certainty of the 2012 presidential campaign thus far is its uncertainty. It wasn’t long ago when we were talking about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s dominating win in South Carolina and, before that, the possibility that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, could be looking at a January sweep. But few things seem clear out of the Florida results. Romney has again reestablished himself as the front-runner for now. And, maybe more important, he has reestablished himself as the candidates of the wealthier swing-voting communities – counties that Patchwork Nation calls the Monied Burbs. Romney won six of Florida’s seven Monied Burbs and 49% of the vote in them overall. (You can see the results analyzed through Patchwork Nation’s 12 county types here.) As we have noted in the past, those places...
December 19, 2011
Going into 2012, the biggest shift in the electorate may be its feelings about who is best suited to handle the challenges of the economy. Back in 2008, the Democratic Party was not only the choice on the poll question “which party would do a better job” with the economy, it was the choice by a wide margin. Urban, suburban and rural, young and old, rich and poor, geographic and demographic groups of all stripes chose the Democrats. The picture is very different on the eve of the 2012 primary season, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. Republicans best Democrats on that same question with some very important voting blocs, including the elderly, the wealthy, middle income voters, white working class voters and suburbanites. The Democratic Party’s fall since 2008 has been sharp: a 15 percentage point drop among  18- to 34-year-olds and those 65 and older, a 12-point drop among those who make more than $75,000 a year, an 11-point slide...
December 7, 2011
This October Patchwork Nation Director Dante Chinni spoke at TEDxMidAtlantic 2011. His presentation ‘You Don`t Know America, Or How Community Triumphs Over Soccer Moms and Red and Blue States in the 21st Century U.S.’ explored how the U.S. news media often misunderstand and mischaracterize American communities.  Chinni talked about how his experience as a reporter travelling to various communities around the country had led him to create Patchwork Nation to gain a more nuanced perspective on the many different kinds of communities and subcultures within the United States. The work led to the creation of this site and the book Our Patchwork Nation.. The project was noticed TEDx organizers who chose Chinni to discuss it at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, DC on October 29. The presentation can be seen in the video below. Dante Chinni at TEDxMidAtlantic 2011 from Jefferson Institute on Vimeo. TED conferences bring together the...
December 5, 2011
By: Matt Carmichael, Ad Age   Consumers are saving less again. And while that might not be great for their retirement accounts, it may be good news for marketers.   Historically, Americans save about 4% of their income, but in 2008 the recession changed behavior. Between January and May of that year, the savings rate shot to 8.3% from 3.7%. That's part of the reason recovery has been so slow to come: More savings equals less spending. But in the past three months for which Bureau of Economic Analysis data are available, consumers are saving less again -- just 3.5% in October -- freeing up more cash for spending. The trends aren't universal. As we look at the counties in Ad Age's American Consumer Project -- and the consumer segments they represent -- we see different types of areas are saving and spending in different ways. To uncover those differences, Experian Simmons used our two county-classification frameworks, Patchwork Nation and Esri...
November 27, 2011
With all the uncertainties around the 2012 presidential race there seems to be one sure thing: The fight for the White House will be about the economy. After four years of recession, a stalled recovery and growing tensions, it is issue No. 1 with the voters – and probably issues Nos. 2 and 3 as well. Generally, when elections are about the economy, the system for determining a winner is not complicated. When times are bad, the sitting president and party take a hit. Voters tend to see troubles occurring on their watch as their responsibility and punish them at the ballot box. But as primary season nears, the game looks a bit different for 2012. Not even President Barack Obama, would argue that times are good – sluggish economic growth, an unemployment rate of 9% and the still-troubled housing market dominate the news. And yet, despite all the problems, Mr. Obama sits in a fairly comfortable position. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 45% of...
November 18, 2011
By Boris Santos Sun City, Maricopa County is where to be if you love golf courses, thrift stores, low taxes and the “slow paced” life. With all the technological texting and blogging and prying in the US, one thing is for certain, Maricopa County offers an escape route. Sun Citian citizens spoke up on October as to what they truly loved about it. Joan McCarthy, a Sun Citian citizen, who was just coming out of the Sun Valley Animal Shelter Furniture, Gifts & Collectibles store (located on Peoria and 107th avenues), after purchasing a sewing machine (located on Peoria and 107th avenues), said, in response, “With all the gadgets, cellphones, automobiles, it’s so much nicer here. A slower pace,” Sun Citians sound off about what they like about living here - Your West Valley News: Topstory. Wall Herstor, a fervent golf player, was also vivacious about speaking of the flawlessly beautiful town of Sun City, he says, “People are nice. I’m from...