The Colorado Independent,2020
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Richard Florida has written influential works about the US society and economy and on Tuesday he turned his vision to the Great American Dental Divide. Blogging a recent Gallup study on oral hygiene in the United States, he pointed out that the dramatic if unsurprising findings underline the kind of deeply divided nation we all live in today. Dental care, like so many other facets of American life, tracks with income and education levels as well as race and political affiliations. There is a sprawling American country where people go to the dentist regularly and there is an equally sprawling American country where people do not. The shorthand summary for political junkies is that if you don't believe in climate change or in the benefit of health care reform and are leaning toward casting a ballot for Texas Governor Rick Perry sometime in your future, chances are you have lousy teeth.
Why is Colorado politically purple, instead of right-red or left-blue? Maybe it's the fact that it's a crossroads home to so many of the "Twelve States of America" mapped by economics-demographers Dante Chinni and James Gimpel. Colorado's economy is like its landscape: High and low and multicolored. And what's missing in Colorado may be as important as what's here. It may surprise some residents to learn that, as a matter of general categories, Colorado is not only low on African Americans but also low on empty nest white folks and evangelical voters.