This Arizona town captures America’s deepening rural-urban divide


Published March 23, 2023

The Washington Post

Arizona’s rapid transformation from a Republican bastion to a swing state is largely a story about the divergence between suburban and rural values. Nowhere is this more evident than in this fast-growing exurban town.

Queen Creek was once a small farming community. As recently as 1990, a mere 2,500 people called it home. Today, more than 68,000 people do, and thousands more arrive each year. It’s the third-fastest growing city in the United States and is projected to have 175,000 residents when fully developed.

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Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.


Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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