Many thanks to the brilliant economic development guru Richard Florida for shining the spotlight on the rise of the Creative Class. More than simply white collar, service sector, technology or computer geek, or struggling chocolatier, the Creative Class is a large (and growing), dynamic, eclectic power of 40 million people engaged in the very broad knowledge economy. Zogby Analytics has had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on this very large group over the past decade and here is an opportunity to take a close up look at who they are.

First let's remind ourselves that this is a group that slightly leans liberal, is a swing vote, and has swung to Barack Obama twice. Second, we need to consider their strategic political importance. Their main clusters include many key regions of swing voting states: the Boston Route 128 Corridor intersects with New Hampshire; Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte have transformed North Carolina; Southern Florida and the Columbus-Akron-Dayton chunk of Ohio; Ames and Iowa City; Denver-Boulder, Colorado - just to name a few. When they swing, America swings.

Today, the Creative Class is significantly more Democratic (42%) than Republican (34%), with 25% independent. They are also evenly spread out throughout the United States - 22% in the East, 26% South, 28% Central/Great Lakes, and 24% the West. One in three (32%) earn over $100,000 per year - including 9% who earned over $150,000. Another 12% earned at least $75,000.

The Creative Class is young - 60% are under the age of 50, including 22% who are 18-29. Over half have college degrees (52%) and only 65% are white. Hispanics comprise 18%, African Americans 11%, and Asian Americans another 4%. One in three live in large cities (32%) and 30% in the suburbs - while only 21% are in small cities and just 17% are in rural areas.

One in four (25%) are in unions, 13% are GLBT, 48% are members of the Investor Class, 42% own a gun, and 34% shop at a Wal-Mart at least weekly. Forty-two percent attend a place of worship at least weekly and 58% have passports.

They are eclectic in makeup and essential for a party's victory. A substantial 17% said they have gone without food for 24 hours at a time because of a lack of money or food. While 35% identify themselves as liberal, 34% are conservative, and 31% are moderate. They appear to be more socially liberal but fiscally conservative. They certainly put Mr. Obama in office as he won nearly everyone of those Creative Class regions in battleground states. But they up for grabs.