This weekend, five states are holding presidential primaries or caucuses:
Louisiana: Democratic and Republican primary elections (Saturday)
Kansas: Democratic and Republican caucuses (Saturday)
Kentucky: Republican caucuses (Saturday)
Maine: Republican caucuses (Saturday), Democratic caucuses (Sunday)
Nebraska: Democratic caucuses (Saturday)
(Puerto Rico will also have its Republican primary election on Sunday.)
For both parties, all of their state primaries and caucuses this weekend are “closed”—meaning that only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary or caucus, and only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary or caucus. (Unaffiliated voters can’t vote in either party’s presidential primary or caucus this weekend.)
But in today’s post, we’d like to focus on Saturday’s Republican primaries and caucuses—because these four contests, with 234 delegates at stake, could have major implications for understanding which candidate registered Republican voters prefer.
While the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—make up well over the majority (56.7%) of eligible voters nationally, they make up less than half of the vote-eligible population in Kansas (49%), Kentucky (48%), and Maine (43%). The RAE makes up 63% of the eligible voters in Louisiana.
Louisiana is also the outlier among the four March 5 GOP primary states in terms of the racial composition of its electorate—people of color make up 38 percent of the Pelican State’s eligible voters, compared to 16% in Kansas and 12% in Kentucky. (There are too few people of color in Maine for our researchers to be able to get reliable statistics on them.)
Finally, Louisiana also leads the states voting on Saturday in terms of unmarried women as a proportion of the vote-eligible population: 29% of vote-eligible Louisiana residents are unmarried women, compared to 25% in Kansas and Kentucky and 26% in Maine.