This week, John Zogby reviewed the Super Tuesday primaries, generational trends, the urban-rural divide, and more with Charles F. McElwee, assistant editor of City Journal. Founder of the Zogby Poll and the Zogby companies, Zogby is an internationally respected pollster, opinion leader, and best-selling author. He has joined with his sons, Benjamin and Jeremy, in a company called John Zogby Strategies, a strategic-visioning firm specializing in preparing companies and agencies for change. Zogby is also the inaugural director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at his alma mater, Le Moyne College. He lives in Upstate New York.
What is your takeaway from the Super Tuesday primaries?
Super Tuesday was a stunning victory for Joe Biden. It shows that the primary process remains a sequential one, based on momentum and powerful endorsements. The battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is still on, but this week resolved who will occupy the left and middle lanes.
What does the press misunderstand about regions like upstate New York?
Upstate New York is the history of New York: the Revolutionary War, the great movements for abolition and women’s rights, the Erie Canal and the Industrial Revolution, and the development of interesting cities and numerous industries, including agriculture. Cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany are fascinating, as are Ithaca, Seneca Falls, and Hudson.
What are the most surprising findings from the monthly Forbes Under 30 Voter Survey, conducted in partnership with your firm?
I have been polling millennials and Generation Z for over a decade, and by now I’m more amazed at the consistencies: they want solutions, not angry arguments. They want a seat at the table and want to reconfigure the table so that there is no “head.” And they are plugged in and connected all the time.
Compared with the 2016 presidential election, how is the urban and rural divide shaping this year’s election cycle?
Thus far, urban and suburban voters are solidly Democrat, but small cities and rural regions are solidly Republican. Once the concrete sidewalks end, the Trump signs are visible. The cities have many more people than rural areas, and they are much more diverse, but they will have to agree on one candidate if there is a chance for Democrats to win.
What is an overlooked trend in U.S. cities?
I think it’s the presence of dogs—everywhere. The leash business is a good investment; “rescues” are our friends and neighbors. Young and old, immigrant or native-born, rich and poor: people are enriching their lives with some of the best friends they will ever have.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images