A project of
Category: Rising American Electorate
May 18, 2016

Pew: Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation

Pew Research Center reviewed the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest population estimates, and confirmed that the Rising American Electorate has risen all the way to the top. As of April 2016, “Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.”

May 4, 2016

Pew Research: 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in U.S. history

Jens Manuel Krogstad at Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank blog examines the Rising American Electorate’s growth since the 2012 elections:  “The U.S. electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Nearly one-in-three eligible voters on Election Day (31%) will be Hispanic, black, Asian or another racial or ethnic minority, up from 29% in 2012.”

Krogstad goes on to caution, however, that low turnout is likely to blunt these voters’ impact at the polls: “While the U.S. electorate is growing more diverse, there’s a caveat when it comes to the impact of these changes: the relatively low voter turnout rates among Hispanics and Asians. In the 2012 presidential election, 64% of non-Hispanic white eligible voters cast ballots, as did 67% of black eligible voters. By comparison, the voter turnout rate was 48% among Hispanics and 47% among Asians.”

Read the article.

May 2, 2016

2016 Primary Spotlight: Indiana

Indiana’s standalone primary on May 3 has emerged as a must-win for Republican Ted Cruz. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton come into the state with momentum from their multi-state wins last Tuesday. There are 57 delegates at stake in Indiana’s GOP primary, and 92 in the Democratic primary. The Rising American Electorate (RAE)—the unmarried women, people of color, and millennials who make up 57% of eligible voters nationally—make up only 46% of Indiana’s voting-eligible population. Unmarried women make up the largest percentage of the RAE in Indiana. Learn more about their lives.

May 2, 2016

Pew Research: Millennials are America's Largest Generation

Richard Fry at Pew Research’s Fact Tank blog has analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates to determine that the millennial generation (ages 18-34 as of 2015)—a key component of the Rising American Electorate—is now the nation’s largest living generation, surpassing the Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). In all, there are 75.4 million millennials in the country—projected to peak at 81.1 million in 2036—compared to 74.9 million Baby Boomers, whose numbers are declining as their death rate exceeds the rate at which new Baby Boomers are immigrating to the U.S..

April 25, 2016

2016 Primary Spotlight: April 26 Primaries (CT, DE, MD, PA, RI)

The five presidential primaries next Tuesday are all on the east coast—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. These primaries could mark the end of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and move the Republicans closer to a contested convention.

Here’s what’s at stake:

  • Connecticut: 70 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 28 Republican (awarded proportionallyif no candidate gets >50%, winner-take-all if one candidate does)
  • Delaware: 31 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 16 Republican (winner-take-all)
  • Maryland: 118 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 38 Republican (winner-take-all by district and state)
  • Pennsylvania: 210 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 71 Republican (winner-take-all/“loophole”)
  • Rhode Island: 33 Democratic delegates (awarded proportionally); 19 Republican (awarded proportionally)
  • The Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—make up the majority of voters in Maryland (56%) and Delaware (56%) and close to half the electorate in the other primary states (49% in Connecticut, 47% in Pennsylvania, and 48% in Rhode Island).

    Forty percent of the eligible voters in Maryland are people of color (40%), the largest share of any state voting on Tuesday. 30% of MD’s eligible voters are African Americans—and the participation of these voters could decide the tightly-contested Democratic primary race for the open U.S. Senate seat between Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards. According to Washington Post polling, voters are split along racial lines between Van Hollen, a white man, and Edwards, an African-American woman. The Post poll shows that Edwards has a 51-point lead among African-American women.

    The VPC has prepared in-depth profiles on unmarried women in each of Tuesday’s five primary states:
    Rhode Island

    April 18, 2016

    2016 Primary Spotlight: New York

    For the first time in decades, both the Democratic and Republican primaries in New York on Tuesday, April 19 will be consequential. The nominees are usually already decided this late into the primary calendar. But candidates from both parties have a lot riding the Tuesday’s outcome of their closed primary elections. (Independents cannot vote in the New York primaries.)

    New York is the second most delegate-rich state for Democrats with a mix of 291 pledged, at-large and uncommitted delegates up for grabs. On the Republican side, New York has the fourth-highest number of delegates, with 95 delegates at stake.

    The Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, people of color, and millennials—could have a significant effect on the outcome in New York, where they make up 61% of the eligible voters in the state. (Nationally, the RAE accounts for 57% of eligible voters.) People of color also make up a higher portion of eligible voters in New York (34%) than they do nationally (30%) and unmarried women are also a larger share of eligible voters in New York: 29% versus 26% nationally.

    Learn more about unmarried women in New York.

    April 12, 2016

    Equal Pay Day 2016: Unmarried Women, Race, and the #WageGap

    Today is Equal Pay Day: a date that symbolizes how far into 2016 the average woman would have to work just to make as much money as the average man made in 2015. Because the average woman makes 80¢ for every $1 a man makes, she’d have to work three extra months—all the way through March 2016—just to make as much as the average man made in 2015.

    As we pointed out in yesterday’s post, while the wage gap for women overall is awful, the wage gap for unmarried women is even worse; the average unmarried woman makes only 60¢ for every $1 a man makes.

    But unmarried women of color are the ones who suffer the most from the wage gap: For every $1 the average man makes, an unmarried African-American woman makes 52¢, an unmarried Latina makes 48¢, and an unmarried Native American woman makes only 47¢. Those numbers look even worse when we consider how long the average woman in each of those groups would have to work just to make the same amount of money the average man made in 2015:


    That’s just depressing.

    And it’s not going to change until policymakers at the state and federal level acknowledge that there’s a problem, and take action to solve it. That’s why efforts like Equal Pay Day are so important, to put pressure on officials to do something about the wage gap.

    Please do your part and spread the word.

    Read the full memo from the Voter Participation Center and Lake Research Partners about the current wage gap and presidential candidates’ response to the wage gap: Equal Pay Day for Unmarried Women (PDF)

    April 4, 2016

    2016 Primary Spotlight: Wisconsin

    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.

    March 21, 2016

    2016 Primary Spotlight: Arizona, Idaho, and Utah

    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.)
  • About 60 percent of all Republican delegates have been awarded so far, with Trump winning 47 percent of those. If that pace continues, Trump could end up about 100 delegates short of the 1,237 needed at the convention. To win the nomination outright, Trump needs to win more than 60 percent of the remaining delegates.
  • Among Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has 1,614 delegates (1,147 pledged delegates and 423 superdelegates) compared to 856 for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (830 pledged delegates and 26 superdelegates). In order to win the Democratic nomination, a candidate must have 2,382 total delegates; 2,026 pledged delegates are needed to win a majority of pledged 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.

    Learn more about unmarried women in Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

    * The Utah GOP primary is winner-take-all if a candidate gets over 50% of the vote, but proportional otherwise.

    March 11, 2016

    2016 Primary Spotlight: March 15

    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:

    • Florida: 246 Democratic delegates, 99 Republican
    • Illinois: 182 Democratic delegates, 69 Republican
  • Missouri: 84 Democratic delegates, 52 Republican
  • North Carolina: 121 Democratic delegates, 72 Republican
  • Ohio: 159 Democratic delegates, 66 Republican
  • 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%
    Florida 58% 26% 36% 21%
    Illinois 58% 28% 30% 27%
    Missouri 46% 23% 15% 26%
    North Carolina 56% 26% 29% 26%
    Ohio 48% 26% 16% 21%

    * 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.