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The Rising American Electorate in South Carolina and Nevada

February 19, 2016

The stories out of Iowa and New Hampshire focused on the participation levels, voting preferences, and burgeoning political power of millennial voters. But as the presidential contests move west to Nevada and south to South Carolina, the electorates begin to look more like the national body of voters. The coming contests will be more accurate tests of the power and influence of young voters and the rest of the Rising American Electorate (RAE).

Nationally, the RAE—which is comprised of millennials (voters 35 and younger), unmarried women, and people of color—make up the majority, close to 57 percent, of all eligible voters.

In South Carolina, that combination of voters makes up exactly 57 percent of the vote-eligible population:

  • Unmarried women make up 27 percent of eligible voters;
  • Millennials make up 27 percent; and
  • African-Americans make up 26 percent.

And what’s the overlap between these demographic groups?

  • 38.7 percent of all millennials in South Carolina are unmarried women;
  • 32.6 percent of eligible African-American voters are 35 or younger; and
  • 31.7 percent of millennials in the state are unmarried African-American women.

In Nevada, the RAE accounts for 62 percent of eligible voters, meaning their influence over the caucus outcomes could be significant.

  • Unmarried women make up 26 percent of eligible voters;
  • Millennials make up 28 percent; and
  • Latinos account for 19 percent of all eligible voters in the state.

The overlap?

  • 26.5 percent of voters 35 and younger (millennials) in Nevada are unmarried women.
  • 27.6 percent of millennials are Latino; and,
  • 16.5 percent of millennials are unmarried Latina women.