Demographics Against the Democrats

Election outcomes may well be about demographic changes such as population migrations. The visible wealthiest may be Republican, but the highly educated and professionals have significant Democrat populations. Changes in demographics may work against the Democrats.

In the previous election, major demographic changes in areas such as race/ethnicity were thought to contribute to Democrat gains. Since these were expected to continue, there were fewer worries about the future elections. There are, of course, many ways to look at demographics. State migration patterns have been changing - perhaps not enough to impact elections with larger margins of victory, but enough to impact close elections such as in 2016.

Migrations For Jobs or for Lower Cost of Living
Young college educated persons tend to move to areas with concentrations of populations - Blue Cities and States. Blue people in need of less grueling winters can leave cold Blue States for the South and Southwest. This can also be a fit with needs for lower cost of living and housing.

Collapses in manufacturing have previously driven people from states such as Michigan. Losses included jobs for highly educated people. New terms such as Michigration were created to describe the losses. Others moved to the South where their votes did not matter. Manufacturing losses also include rural areas and less concentrated urban areas that moved to Blue states where jobs existed. Democrats leaving Borderline states and Republicans moving to borderline states can make a difference.

Blue states can attract Blue Voters from Red States
  • California has been attracting blue voters for decades from many states. 
  • Movements to the northeast are also seen. As has been noted, over 60% of economic activity is seen in Blue states and people in need of jobs must find jobs.

Red states can attract and absorb Blue Voters while staying Red
  • This can be seen in Arizona, Texas, Florida, other states in the South

Red voters stayed in Red States 

Many Southern states used to be Blue before the prediction of LBJ came true regarding the changes to come after signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Democrats did lose the South. This may have contributed to other changes that concentrated Democrat attention on the cities. As the Democratic party was diverted elsewhere (fragmented, lost strategic purpose), rural and urban settings with lower concentrations of people and resources were lost from view with more impact on the 2016 election. 

Attributing the loss to just the 18% of the population that is rural makes little sense when a much larger portion of 40% of the population is left behind (75% of the rural population and 32% of the urban population by county).

Key State Demographic Changes from the New York Times Interactive
  • Pennsylvania Outmigration 11% to the South - 500,000
  • Pennsylvania Inmigration 3% from the South
  • "Some math about the Pennsylvania diaspora: Since 1980, the number of state natives living in their home state, New York or New Jersey is down by half a million. The number living in in the South is up by about the same amount."
  • Ohio Outmigration 15% to the South
  • Ohio Inmigration 10% from the South
  • Michigan Outmigration 12% to the South
  • Michigan Inmigration 5% from the South

These are very populous states and their inmigrations and outmigrations involve large numbers of voters.

Points for Reflection
  • The lowest concentration counties are growing fastest - at least 50% greater than the general population and 3 times the growth rate of the most concentrated counties. 
  • A worsening economy and more Americans falling behind results in more moving to lesser concentration counties. 
  • An improving economy raises cost of housing and cost of living in the most concentrated areas - driving lower and middle income people to live in less expensive settings.
  • Dollars outmigrated to other nations clearly does not help the process.
  • Dollars sent from local health or education to outside consultants, software companies, and for the purpose of quality, or quality metrics, or 

Recent census data indicates outmigration changes with losses for Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota. Illinois is another candidate as losses mount. Conversations with some from Wisconsin reveal the sadness at the changes in their state over recent decades. This part of the Midwest once had the best child development, high school graduations, college completion rates, and other stellar outcomes. The outcomes are changing as are the people and children.


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