From Brookings and AEI, the ABCs of Politics in America

AEI-Brookings confab is a one-day wonder. If this sounds like an advertisement, it is.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

I learned almost everything I needed to know about the shape of the American political landscape in one day last year at the American Enterprise Institute.

AEI joined with the Brookings Institution to produce "Red, Blue and Purple America" in February 2008. The two think tanks—one from the Right and one from the Left—lured a top roster of academic and journalistic talent to explain the demographic changes that are transforming America, and how they are influencing our politics.

They are at it again on Friday morning, June 12, and if you are interested in the building blocks of our elections—and what they might mean for the 2010 and 2012 contests—I urge you to attend, or to at least visit the website and watch the video.

At last year's event, Scott Teeter from the Pew Research Center spoke about the impact of younger voters. Robert Lang of Virginia Tech gave us a detailed explanation of how Democrats were challenging Republicans for the important suburban and exurban vote. William Frey, from Brookings, talked about the rising impact of Hispanic immigration and minority voters. And Ruy Teixeira, who coauthored the prescient The Emerging Democratic Majority with John Judis, gave us a provocative glimpse of how Democratic gains among women, minorities, younger voters, professionals, and other important demographic groups could lead to Barack Obama's victory in November.

They will all reprise their work on Friday, revisiting the 2008 election returns with AEI's Karlyn Bowman, who knows as much about public opinion as anyone in Washington, and savvy commentators like Ron Brownstein, Bill Bishop, Mark Schmitt, and Michael Barone.

If this sounds like an advertisement, it is. But I don't get a share of the gate and none of these folks are my neighbors or relatives. They just really know their stuff.

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