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Category: What We're Reading
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

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 27, 2016

The Atlantic: The 2016 Electorate is Voting Just as Predicted

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein and Leah Askarinam have crunched the numbers on 22 state exit polls to find that  presidential primary candidates’ demographic appeals have remained remarkably consistent since the voting began in February. In other words: throughout this contest, a state’s demographic makeup—race, gender, age, and socioeconomic status—has been the major factor in determining which of the Republican and Democratic primary candidates will win there.

April 5, 2016

Bloomberg: The Definitely Messy, Probably Solvable Reasons Americans Don't Vote

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.

March 8, 2016

Kelly Ditmar: Black Women Voters By the Numbers

Kelly Ditmar of the Center for American Women and Politics has a new post on HuffPost Politics analyzing the role of African-American women in the Democratic primary thus far:

Black voters voted overwhelmingly for Clinton in Democratic primaries across the nine states where race data is available, and the proportion of black women casting ballots for Clinton was even greater than the proportion of black men, based on exit polls reporting race by gender data. […] Most significantly, Clinton has won more than 85 percent of black women’s votes in each of these states. […] Clinton’s support among black women voters is even more significant since they have turned out at the highest rates of any race/gender subgroup in the past two presidential elections.

February 29, 2016

NPR: The 10 States Where Millennials Could Sway The Election

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.”

February 23, 2016

Significant Digits: 40 Percent

538 highlights Rebecca Traister’s story on how important unmarried women will be this cycle:

Their numbers are growing, bringing “massive social and political implications.” In 2012, unmarried women were 23 percent of the electorate, and for the first time it’s expected that a majority of women voters will be unmarried. However, last presidential-election cycle, 40 percent of single women had not registered to vote. “This is partly because of the very obstacles that single women need social policy to account for.”

February 5, 2016

Vox: People of color will make up 31% of 2016's eligible voters — the largest percentage ever

Vox highlights a major milestone in a new Pew Research Center survey:

“According to Pew Research Center, this year’s election will be decided by the most racially and ethnically diverse body of voters in US history, with people of color representing 31 percent of eligible voters in November.”

While the Rising American Electorate ‘s growth continues to make the voting population younger and more diverse,  “the number of white voters is relatively stagnant.”

“There are still 156 million white voters in the US, and 70 million voters of color. But whites are underrepresented among new voters. Between 2012 and 2016, new white voters only increased by 2 percent, while Asian voters increased by 16 percent and Latino voters by 17 percent.”

Read the full story at Vox.


December 14, 2015

IWPR/AARP: The Gender/Race Gap in Student Loans

A new study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and the AARP reinforces other research findings that women bear the brunt of the student-loan burden, with women of all races holding student debts that totaled at least 80% of their income one year after graduation.

African-American women carry the greatest debt, with an average student debt load totaling 111% of their income—meaning that even if the average African-American woman was able to devote her entire income in the first year after college graduation to paying off her student loans, she still wouldn’t be out of debt.

October 26, 2015

WSJ: The Gender Pay Gap is Widening

“The narrowing of the pay gap may have at least temporarily stalled,” writes Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal in his analysis of new Q3 2015 data from the Labor Department:

The latest data marks the third straight quarter that the increase in male earnings was at least double that of female workers. As a result, women who work full time earned 81.1 cents for every dollar a man earned from July through September. That’s down more than a penny from a year earlier.