President Obama and Republicans fighting over the votes of the “monied burbs”

President Obama’s campaign is looking to target voters in the “monied burbs” as part of their broader election strategy:

In his 2008 victory, Mr. Obama broke through among several important voter groups. Exit polls showed that he carried suburbanites, college graduates and those earning more than $200,000.

Mr. Obama won handily in areas that the research organization Patchwork Nation calls “Monied ’Burbs.” Residents of these high-income suburbs, which add up to roughly a quarter of the United States population, tend to be less religious and more tolerant of homosexuality and abortion rights, said Dante Chinni, Patchwork Nation’s director.

They narrowly backed Republicans in the 2010 House elections. Their disappointment over the economy cloud Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election prospects.

But their distance from the Republican right on social issues gives Mr. Obama a tool for fighting back…

Republicans have their own strong economic arguments for upscale suburbanites, including Mr. Obama’s proposals to raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000. Those will echo Democrats’ 2004 warnings to working-class voters — that social issues obscured how Mr. Bush had hurt their pocketbooks.

The idea of the “monied burbs” was covered in more detail in Our Patchwork Nation. The description in this particular NYT article sounds suspiciously like David Brook’s Bobos, educated suburbanites who are attracted by the suburb’s good schools, single-family homes, and emphasis on family but are more liberal on a number of social issues.

I wonder if we could go so far as to suggest that the suburbs will decide the 2012 elections: will the independent voters in “monied burbs” and inner-ring suburbs vote for President Obama or a Republican challenger? We have some evidence (also here) that these voters helped decide the most recent elections. Does this mean we will have an uptick in rhetoric about the American Dream and homeownership?

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