The 2016 election was an election that defied most expectations. An unorthodox candidate put together an unexpected coalition of states to win the Electoral College while losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. As the nation’s demographics change, questions remain about whether this coalition can hold together for Republicans in 2020 and beyond, and how the shifting views and increased diversity within millennial and post-millennial generations will impact the future of U.S. politics.
The States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project examines in this report an array of future presidential election outcome scenarios—from 2020 through 2036—that could arise as the demography of the nation and its 50 states changes over the next 18 years. Additionally, the project commissioned two papers—one from a pollster and one from an elections analyst—that provide thought-provoking perspectives on the implications of these scenarios for future Democratic and Republican electoral coalitions.
The States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project examines in this report an array of future presidential election outcome scenarios—from 2020 through 2036—that could arise as the demography of the nation and its 50 states changes over the next 18 years.
The project—a collaboration of the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, and PRRI—began in 2014 and has been generously funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Fund.
In year one, States of Change examined the changing demography of the nation and projected the racial and ethnic composition of every state to 2060. The detailed findings, available in the initial report, were discussed at the project’s February 2015 conference. In year two, the project’s leaders commissioned six papers on the policy implications of the demographic changes, two each from different political perspectives on the significance of the changes for the family, for the economy and workforce, and for the social contract. A second report, released with those papers in February 2016, projected possible presidential election outcomes from 2016 to 2032 using data from the project’s first report. In 2017, in addition to producing a report on demographics and political representation gaps, the project commissioned two papers from political strategists on the impact of demographic change on political campaigns. The papers were initially released at the February 2017 conference.
States of Change will continue to examine the relationship between demographics and political representation, and the implications for our democracy.