Not so sunny Sun Belt
The Sun Belt is in many ways not what it was when Barry Goldwater came on the scene. Once the very symbol of economic prosperity and untrammeled growth, it has been pummeled by the collapse of the housing market.
“There is a soaring rate of poverty in these new suburban regions,” said Lisa McGirr, a history professor at Harvard who studies the region. “I think it’s bound to have a political impact and to transform the ability of the Republican Party to appeal to suburbanites with private, individualistic solutions.”
It's interesting. The last time the Republican National Convention happened in Florida was in 1972 right at the start of the country's shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. I wrote about this in my story on local host committee chair Al Austin and Tampa. Politics went right. People moved south. Now it's an even 40 years later. Is this the beginning of a similarly profound national rejiggering going the other way? Florida's the bellwether. Florida's the tuning fork. Florida's where the future happens first.