America's Changing Face - and Changing Politics led by John King

AMERICA’S CHANGING FACE –
AND CHANGING POLITICS
A Study Group Led by, IOP VISITING FELLOW AND CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORESPONDENT JOHN KING
Thursdays at 4:00PM in L166 at the IOP

A thorough exploration of the major demographic shifts that are changing the face of the US population - and electorate - and how these changes are impacting our political system, both on Election Day and in the policy debates that follow at every level of government. We will also aim each week to set aside time for a "Breaking News" conversation - taking a story or issue dominating that day's or week's headlines and exploring the political fault lines and the media coverage.

FEB 21: THE NEW DEMOGRAPHICS OF POLITICS:
In our first meeting, we use the 2010 Census and 2012 Election as a springboard to a curtain-raising conversation about America's changing face, and changing politics. Discussion topics include: The rise of the Latino voter, the GOP’s failed bet on a big “white” 2012 victory, the Democrats' "Generational" opportunity - and the early post election political and policy shifts that can be traced by to these critical demographic changes. JK leads this first conversation, and will welcome some of our other fellows to join the discussion. The JFK Forum conversation from the previous evening on the gun control debate should prove a timely topic for our "Breaking News" time.

FEB 28: RED AMERICA, BLUE AMERICA:
Yes, some of the polarization in American politics is pure and simple petty, partisan politics. But some of the divide, on issues like energy, for example, is more a product of the vast social, cultural and resource differences among the 50 pieces of the complicated puzzle that is America. Progress on these issues requires understanding and respect – two scarce ingredients in our politics today. SPECIAL GUEST: CNN’s Magic Wall. The trailblazing technology that helps drive the network’s award winning election coverage makes a rare road trip to help the study group take an in-depth look at the country’s partisan divide, as well as its regional and demographic differences. Breaking News: TBD.

MARCH 7: GENERATION NATION:
In 2008, younger voters were a key piece of the Obama coalition. And in 2012, this demographic group defied expectations and grew as a percentage of the presidential electorate. Are these younger voters Obama Democrats or long-term Democrats? If it is the latter, the GOP faces a generational challenge much as the Democrats did 30+ years ago when Ronald Reagan helped the Republican Party create a new generation of loyalists. How is this generation making its unique mark on politics? We'll explore exit poll and other research data that tells us this 18-30 age group tends to be more tolerant on social issues like abortion and same sex marriage, and more entrepreneurial even libertarian when debating the proper roles and reach of government. INVITED GUESTS: GOP pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson and Obama campaign pollster Cornell Belcher. Breaking News TBD.

MARCH 14: LATINO POWER:
The fastest growing subset of the American electorate is just beginning its rise as a critical - and in many states and races THE critical - voting bloc. Latinos accounted for more than 10 percent of the national electorate for the first time in 2012, and that number will grow significantly over the next 25 and 50 years. It is already significantly higher in key battleground states, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida among them. So fast is the demographic shift in Texas, that some Democrats see the day when they once again are competitive statewide, and at the presidential level. We'll take a look at the numbers, and how the 2012 results have had such a sudden impact on immigration politics. INVITED GUEST: Senator Marco Rubio (Tentative). Breaking News TBD.

APRIL 4: THE TECHNOLOGY OF TARGETING:
What you look like, and how much you make, determine what you see when you surf the web or read your emails. And, yes, even when you look in the old school mail box.The 2012 Obama campaign took this targeting to a new level, and was handsomely rewarded as this more personalized - if invasive - outreach helped it keep its needed levels of support and turnout among the key demographic groups that make up the Obama coalition. How a campaign looks at everything, EVERYTHING, you post, visit or purchase, and uses it to determine how you are likely to vote, and what issues might persuade you to lock in or switch sides. As America becomes more diverse -- in every way -- this targeting can be the difference in competitive campaigns. INVITED GUEST: Organizing for America's Jim Messina and/or Mitch Stewart. Breaking News TBD.

APRIL 11: WAL MART MOMS:
Women are more than half the American electorate, so simple math tells you the clout of this demographic group. We look at a key subgroup - Wal Mart Moms - who in 2012 had a long list of complaints and reservations about President Obama yet supported him in high numbers because they simply did not believe Mitt Romney understood the struggles of working women. These are by DNA swing voters, and this is a much more "get-able" bloc for Republicans in 2014, 2016 and beyond. But only if the party retools its economic message and finds a way - and messengers - to shake the label as the party of the rich. INVITED GUEST: Democratic pollster Margie Omero. QUESTION TIME: We close our final meeting with an open-ended conversation about what we've learned and debated over the semester, or whatever else may be driving the day.