n. A postindustrial metropolitan area dominated by knowledge-based industries and institutions, such as universities and research hospitals.
The Democratic vote is anchored in postindustrial metropolises, or "ideopolises." Because postindustrial society is not organized around a rigid separation between city and suburb, these ideopolises comprise entire metropolitan areas, not merely central cities. Some ideopolises contain significant manufacturing facilities—as in Silicon Valley or Colorado's Boulder area—but it is the kind of manufacturing (whether of pharmaceuticals or semiconductors) that relies on the application of complex ideas to physical objects.
Ruy Teixeira, the co-author of a forthcoming book on the emerging Democratic majority, points out that they do well among two increasingly important social groups: professionals and racial minorities. In the early 1970s, minorities comprised just 10% of the American electorate. Now the figure is closer to 20%. Mr Teixeira points out that the Democrats also dominate the country's "ideopolises": the noisy urban melting pots that shape the country's culture. A few years ago the Republicans had a stranglehold on Florida. Now, thanks largely to the growing number of professionals, non-Cuban immigrants and ideopolis-dwellers, the state is up for grabs.