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GOP Debate Field: Meet Dave Miller GOP Debate Field: Meet Dave Miller

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CAMPAIGN 2012

GOP Debate Field: Meet Dave Miller

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Changing Attitudes: Although blue-collar whites are more likely to report feeling high levels of happiness, better health, and more social trust than working-class nonwhites, there's trouble lingering. Some, like Detroit firefighter Dave Miller, are losing faith in his financial security. Miller ran a construction business on the side to afford a vacation cottage on Lake Erie, but struggles with pessimistic feelings about his children's futures. (RON FOURNIER)

Dave Miller is somebody the GOP presidential field needs to get to know.

And understand.

He is a 41-year-old Detroit firefighter who is raising a family in the Macomb County suburb of St. Clair Shores -- not too far from the site of tonight's GOP debate. We featured him in a National Journal magazine story about the fragile state of the American dream. Co-written by Jim Tankersley and Nancy Cook, the story attempted to put human faces on a phenomena that our colleague Ron Brownstein found in polling: middle-class black and Hispanic Americans are much more likely to be optimistic about their children's future than whites of the same economic status.

Miller tends to vote Republican. His wife, Christine, Democratic. The Millers are a swing-voting family in a county made famous by pollster Stan Greenberg's study of the so-called Reagan Democrats.

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