Missouri 2nd District
Just as the geographic center of the U.S. population has moved west from St. Louis to rural Phelps County, so has the center of metropolitan St. Louis moved farther west from the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River. Now the midpoint is suburban St. Louis County, established in 1876 when the city, tired of paying for dusty back roads, separated itself from the sticks. That year, there were 350,000 people in the city and 31,000 in the county. In 2007, there were 347,000 in the city and just over 1 million in St. Louis County. By the 1960s, the center of office employment moved from downtown across the county line to Clayton. Now, the focus is fast moving out along the Daniel Boone Expressway (U.S. 40) to Chesterfield.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 2nd Congressional District of Missouri consists of central and western St. Louis County, most of St. Charles County northwest across the Missouri River, and rural Lincoln County to the north. Along the expressway, in the center of St. Louis County, are long-settled suburbs: Kirkwood; most of high-income Town and Country and Ladue; fast-growing Chesterfield; and Sunset Hills to the south. They are all Republican areas, more so in newer family-oriented subdivisions than in the leafy precincts of the older enclaves. St. Charles County, where the supply of available land and affordable housing is tight, now casts more votes than the city of St. Louis and is the most Republican suburban county in Missouri. Fast-growing O’Fallon has been listed among the top 10 best places to live in the nation, according to a website of real estate professionals. Suburban Fallon is not doing quite as well. In 2009, Chrysler closed two local factories, idling 1,200 people. This conservative district voted 55% for John McCain in 2008, including 54%-45% in St. Charles County.