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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Brown and the Gray

[Two ] demographic trends ... may most affect the political landscape in the 11 states that both parties now treat as decisive swing contests. As the charts show, all of these states are simultaneously growing more racially diverse and older. But these twin transformations are operating at very different rates in the states likely to decide the next presidential election. While diversity is the key dynamic in the swing states across the Sun Belt, aging is the defining characteristic of the Rust Belt battlegrounds.
State
White share of eligible voters, 2008
White share of eligible voters, 2012
White share of eligible voters, 2016 (projected)
Change 2008-2016 (points)
68.7%
64.9%
61.3%
-7.3%
Florida
68.9%
66.7%
64.4%
-4.5%
Colorado
78.6%
76.5%
74.4%
-4.3%
Virginia
71.6%
69.8%
68.0%
-3.6%
North Carolina
71.3%
69.6%
67.9%
-3.3%
Pennsylvania
84.7%
83.2%
81.7%
-3.1%
Wisconsin
89.2%
87.9%
86.6%
-2.6%
Iowa
93.1%
91.9%
90.7%
-2.4%
Michigan
80.7%
79.6%
78.3%
-2.4%
Ohio
85.1%
84.1%
83.0%
-2.1%
New Hampshire
95.6%
95.0%
94.4%
-1.2%
State
Share of eligible voters aged 50+, 2008
Share of eligible voters aged 50+, 2012
Share of eligible voters aged 50+, 2016 (projected)
Change 2008-2016 (points)
New Hampshire
43.5%
46%
47.1%
3.6%
Michigan
42.7%
44%
45.3%
2.6%
Colorado
38.5%
40%
40.9%
2.5%
Ohio
43.1%
44%
45.6%
2.5%
North Carolina
42.6%
44%
45.0%
2.4%
Wisconsin
42.7%
44%
45.1%
2.4%
Iowa
43.2%
44%
45.5%
2.3%
Florida
47.9%
49%
50.0%
2.1%
Nevada
40.9%
42%
42.9%
2.0%
Virginia
41.6%
43%
43.5%
1.9%
Pennsylvania
45.2%
46%
47.0%
1.8%