Here’s a great data visualization from Bloomberg Politics about the things that are keeping people from voting—including problems with access to the polls, voter registration, vote suppression, and the lack of absentee options. In 2012, only 57% of voting-age Americans cast a ballot… find out how many lost voters there are in your state.
The Wisconsin primaries, which will be held on April 5, mark the first presidential primary contests of April 2016. For the Democrats, 86 pledged delegates are at stake. They will be allocated proportionally.
For the Republicans, 42 pledged delegates are up for grabs. They will be allocated on a winner-take-all basis, meaning whichever candidate receives the most votes will take home all 42 of Wisconsin’s pledged delegates.
One of the key trends we have been tracking is turnout. Young people have been unusually engaged this year in both the Democratic and the Republican primaries. According to analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, Donald Trump drew more young voters than his Republican rivals but he received slightly fewer votes from young people than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Senator Bernie Sanders, the overwhelming favorite of millennials, has received more votes from the young than Mr. Trump and Sec. Clinton combined. In Wisconsin, millennials make up about a quarter of the electorate.
Unmarried women, a key constituency this election, make up about 24 percent of the eligible voters in WI. A new poll from the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund (our sister organization) shows unmarried women have an increased interest in the election. For more information about unmarried women in Wisconsin, read our Wisconsin report.
The race is coming down to the wire for the Republicans, with Tuesday’s contests in Arizona, Idaho and Utah the last for GOP contenders until Wisconsin votes on April 5.
Here’s where the delegate counts sit as the March 22 primaries and caucuses approach:
- Donald Trump currently has 678 delegates, 559 short of the number needed for the nomination. His closest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), has 423 delegates, and Gov. John Kasich (Ohio) has 143. (Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has suspended his campaign, also has 164 delegates.)
Here’s what at stake on Tuesday, March 22:
- Arizona – 58 Republican delegates (winner-take-all), 85 Democratic
- Idaho Democratic caucus – 27 delegates
- Utah – 40 Republican delegates*, 37 Democratic
Demographically, the most interesting state in play on Tuesday is Arizona, where Latinos now make up almost one-third (31 percent) of the state’s population and 26% of its eligible voters. Yet no Democrat has won a statewide election in Arizona since 2004, and voters continue to register as Republicans faster than as Democrats or even independents.
According to Francisco Heredia of Mi Familia Vota, which tries to increase Latino voting, the principal political struggle is between the state’s two fasting-growing populations: young Latinos and older people in Arizona’s retirement communities.
All told in Arizona, the Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color and millennials—make up the overwhelming majority (60%) of the eligible voters in the state.
* The Utah GOP primary is winner-take-all if a candidate gets over 50% of the vote, but proportional otherwise.
The 2016 presidential nominating contests could all come down to this Tuesday, March 15. Primary elections in five states could significantly winnow the race and give clearer shape to the general election.
The five states voting on March 15 will be:
For the GOP, the March 15 primaries include some winner-take-all states: Florida, Ohio, and possibly Missouri.* In most of the primaries this spring, delegates have been awarded proportionally, allowing several candidates to win delegates in a race.
So what does the Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—look like in these make-or-break states? Remember that nationally, the RAE is the majority of eligible voters—almost 57%. And in 2016, for the first time in U.S. history, they’re poised to cast the majority of votes in an election.
Take a look at our breakdown of the RAE nationally and in each of the five March 15 states. As a reminder, a person can belong to more than one subgroup in the RAE—so an unmarried Latina millennial would show up as part of all three cohorts that make up the RAE.
|Rising American Electorate||Unmarried Women||People of Color||Millennials|
|U.S. Vote-Eligible Population||57%||26%||30%||26%|
* In the Missouri GOP primary, if one candidate gets over 50% of the vote, they will receive all of Missouri’s GOP delegates; if no candidate gets 50%, then the delegates will be allocated proportionally.
On March 8, Democrats and Republicans will vote in Michigan and Mississippi; additionally, Republicans will vote in Idaho and caucus in Hawaii. (Democrats in Idaho and Hawaii will caucus on March 22 and March 26, respectively.)
Michigan is the big prize in terms of delegates: Michigan Democrats will send 147 delegates to Philadelphia and the GOP will send 59 to Cleveland. Mississippi has 41 Democratic and 40 Republican delegates, Idaho Republicans have 32 delegates, and Hawaii Republicans have 19 delegates.
In Michigan, the Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—make up half of all the eligible voters in the state. Unmarried women are 26% of Michigan’s vote-eligible population, millennials are 24%, and people of color are 21%.
So we thought it would be interesting to look more closely at where millennials overlap with unmarried women and people of color—since millennials are one of the most highly-contested demographic groups on the Democratic side.
Almost four in ten millennials in Michigan (38.1%) are unmarried women. 15.8% of unmarried millennial women in Michigan are African-American, and 6.7% of unmarried millennial women in Michigan are Latino.
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.
How much power do millennial voters have in 2016? More than ever before – and possibly more than they know.
“With an estimated population of 83.1 million, they now outnumber baby boomers. But, in the last election, they had the lowest voter turnout of any age group.”
The main conclusion?
“Young people, when they’re actually targeted, can help win elections — especially in these 10 states, ordered from least important to most important in terms of youth vote.”
On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the largest number of states will hold primaries or caucuses. Super Tuesday states this year include: Alabama, Alaska (Republican caucuses), Arkansas, Colorado (caucuses), Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucuses), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming (Republican caucuses).
In most presidential years, Super Tuesday is a turning point, serving as a major indicator of who the nominees will be from each party. It is the biggest single-day opportunity for presidential candidates to receive delegates.
What’s at stake? In all, 595 Republican delegates—a little less than half of the 1,237 delegates required to win the GOP nomination—will be available on Super Tuesday. On the Democratic side, about 1,004 delegates will be available on March 1, out of the 2,383 delegates a candidate will need to win the nomination.
The participation of the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—unmarried women, people of color and millennials—has the potential to dramatically affect outcomes in several states where they make up a large percentage of eligible voters:
- In Texas, GOP candidate Senator Ted Cruz’s home state, the RAE makes up 66% of eligible voters, but as of November 2014 only 52% of the RAE were registered to vote. 46% of the eligible voters in Texas are people of color; 29% are 35 or younger.
- In Georgia, 62% of the eligible voters are either unmarried women, people of color or millennials. 59% of them are registered to vote. 39% of the state’s eligible voters are people of color.
- In Alaska, 61% of the state’s eligible voters are members of the RAE; 62% of the RAE are registered to vote. People of color make up 38% of the state’s eligible voters.
- In Alabama, the RAE makes up 56% of the eligible voters; 62% of the RAE are registered to vote. 30% of eligible voters in Alabama are people of color.
- In Virginia, 56% of eligible voters are RAE members; 59% of the RAE are registered to vote. 30% of eligible voters are people of color.
Unmarried women make up at least a quarter of the eligible voters in these Super Tuesday states: Alabama (27%), Arkansas (25%), Georgia (27%), Massachusetts (27%), Minnesota (25%), Oklahoma (25%), Tennessee (27%), Texas (26%), and Vermont (25%).
Learn more about unmarried women in the Super Tuesday states:
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.
- 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.
The voices of more racially-diverse Presidential voters will be heard starting Feb. 20, 23, and 27 with the South Carolina primaries and Nevada caucuses. For the first time this primary season, the Rising American Electorate (RAE)—the population of unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—in South Carolina and Nevada make up the overwhelming majority of eligible voters, just as they do nationally.
The RAE makes up close to 57 (56.7%) percent of eligible voters in U.S. In Iowa, the RAE made up 45 percent of eligible voters and just 41 percent in New Hampshire. But in South Carolina, the RAE makes up 57 percent of eligible voters in the state; they make up 62 percent in Nevada.
The South Carolina primaries are the “first in the South” primaries for both parties. The Republican primary will be held on February 20; the Democrats will vote on February 27. Historically, these key early primaries have helped narrow the field of both Democratic and Republican contenders. The state does not have registration by party. Voters may vote in either party’s primary, but not in both.
South Carolina’s primary is the first contest in which a large percentage of the electorate will be African American. People of color make up 31 percent of the eligible voters in South Carolina. 65 percent of those eligible voters are registered to vote; 35 percent are not.
Unmarried women in South Carolina make up 27 percent of the eligible voters:
- Women make up more than half of South Carolina’s population (53%)
- There are more unmarried women (51.3%) than married women (48.7%) in the state.
- 5 percent of unmarried women in South Carolina are African-American.
- 64 percent of unmarried women are registered to vote.
A detailed demographic analysis from the Voter Participation Data Center shows that unmarried women have a large and vital economic stake in the outcome of the presidential election:
- Unmarried women have the highest unemployment rate in the state: 9.9%. They are more than two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than married women (3.7%).
- Unmarried women earn less than married women. Married women in South Carolina earn close to what a man earns (93.8%); unmarried women lag behind making 81.4 percent of what a man earns in the Palmetto State.
- More than a quarter of unmarried women in South Carolina live in poverty and unmarried women are more than 3 times as likely to live in poverty (25.8%) than married women (8.0%).
- About six in ten of all minimum wage or below-minimum wage workers in South Carolina are women.
Nevada’s Democratic caucus is scheduled for February 20; the GOP caucus is set for February 23. Nevada is the first state in the West to vote, the first primarily labor-based state to vote, and the first state with a significant Hispanic population to vote. Close to one in five (18.9%) of Nevada’s eligible voters is Hispanic. Fifty-four percent of eligible Hispanic voters in Nevada are registered to vote; 46 percent are not.
Anyone who will be 18 years old at the time of the Nov. 8 general election is eligible to participate in the caucuses, including high school students. The caucus is a partisan process; people who want to participate must be registered as a member of the party. Democrats have same-day registration while Republicans require voters to register by Feb. 13.
Unmarried women make up 26 percent of Nevada’s eligible voters.
- There are close to equal numbers of men and women in Nevada. Women make up 50.3% of Nevada’s population; men make up 49.7%.
- There are more unmarried women (51.6%) than married women (48.4%) in the state.
- More than a quarter of Hispanics are unmarried women (25.6%).
- 55 percent of unmarried women are registered to vote.
An economic profile from the Voter Participation Data Center makes it clear unmarried women have a lot riding on the outcome of the presidential election:
- Unmarried women have the highest unemployment rate in the state (11.5%). They are more than four times more likely to be unemployed than married women (2.6%)
- Unmarried women earn less than married women. Married women in Nevada earn 82.5% of what a man earns; unmarried women make 76.8% of what a man earns in the Palmetto State.
- More than a fifth of unmarried women in Nevada live in poverty and unmarried women are more than almost 3 times as likely to live in poverty (21.3%) than married women (7.7%).
Next: Super Tuesday, March 1