Feb 22, 2013 Comments Off iResist
Chris Wilson – Yahoo News – Just to get out ahead of the pack a little, I’m going to go ahead and call the 2020 presidential election for the Democrats.
I’m less sure about 2016, though it’s not looking good for the GOP. These forecasts are based on extremely simple math: Take the current rates of turnout and party preference for the four major racial and ethnic groups and plug them in to the Census Bureau’s population projections for the 18-and-over population for the next 50 years.
If you simply project the present into the future, then it’s pretty clear that Democrats have this thing in the bag—”thing” referring to the future of democracy. But we can assume that the future will not look exactly like the present, which is why this widget allows you to manipulate the percentages of each group that turn out to vote and which party they vote for. It’s when you start messing with the dials in this interactive that you realize the massive amount of trouble the GOP faces if it does not change its image with minority voters—or, as we’ll soon be calling them, “plurality voters.” Here, you can try it yourself:
You will notice that the default turnout rates, from the 2012 election, are very low for Hispanic- and Asian-Americans. This is because we’re measuring voter turnout for the entire voting age population, including those who are not citizens or are otherwise ineligible to vote. Going forward, a significantly larger proportion of both demographics will have been born in the U.S. As the Pew Hispanic Center wrote in a study of the Hispanic electorate published shortly after the 2012 election, “That vast majority (93%) of Latino youths are U.S-born citizens and thus will automatically become eligible to vote once they turn 18.” The report was titled “An Awakened Giant.”
Even a few ticks upward in Hispanic turnout have major benefits for the Democratic Party, which stands to draw less than half its support from non-Hispanic white voters by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, the Republicans don’t have a tremendous amount of ground left to gain among white voters, who will shrink both in total numbers and as a share of the electorate in the coming elections.
Predictions are easy to mock. In recent elections, however, partisanship by racial and ethnic background has remained highly predictable in the face of countless calamities. The demographics of the electorate are going to change so rapidly in the next eight years that politics will seem unrecognizable, but these party loyalties may very well be intact. This fact is not difficult to recognize whatsoever.