Demographics and 2016

Many have brought up the issue of changing demographics as being a major hurdle for any Republican candidate for president, but in particular Donald Trump.  Just how daunting is this task?

In 1988, 85% of the voting electorate was white; in 2012, it was 72%.  It is projected to fall to 69% in 2016.  The major demographic change: Hispanics were 12% of the vote in 2012; this year, it is expected to be 15%, although some projections have it as high as 17%.  The African-American (-1 percentage point) and Asian (+1 percentage point) vote combined will be stable at around 16%.

Of the 69 percent white vote, women will be approximately 35.5 points and men 33.5.

Therefore, white women and minorities will, combined, represent between 66.5% and 67.5% of the voting electorate in 2016.  Trump is polling terribly with this overall group either in favorability or head to head with Hillary Clinton.  

In order to win in November, Trump will need, at a minimum, to do the following:

  • Win 30% of the Hispanic vote (Romney won 27% in 2012)
  • Win 10% of the African-American and Asian vote (Romney won 9%)
  • Win 65% of white male vote (Romney 62%)
  • Win 64% of white female vote (Romney 56% in 2012)

It should be noted that no one since Ronald Reagan in 1984 has come close to winning 64-65% of the overall white vote.  The highest was George H.W. Bush in 1998 with 60%.  The average of the other election cycles since 1984 is 54.5%.

Currently Trump is viewed favorably (recent poll averages) by 11% of African-Americans; 21% of Hispanics; 34% of white women, and 49% of white men.  Other than among white men, Hillary beats Trump in head-to-head polling.

Can Trump win in November?  It is a formidable mountain to climb.  This election primarily revolves around Hillary and the campaign she runs.  On the other hand, Trump must evolve into a serious and viable opponent.  As of today, that eventuality appears remote, therefore it is Hillary’s election to lose.

Many have brought up the issue of changing demographics as being a major hurdle for any Republican candidate for president, but in particular Donald Trump.  Just how daunting is this task?

In 1988, 85% of the voting electorate was white; in 2012, it was 72%.  It is projected to fall to 69% in 2016.  The major demographic change: Hispanics were 12% of the vote in 2012; this year, it is expected to be 15%, although some projections have it as high as 17%.  The African-American (-1 percentage point) and Asian (+1 percentage point) vote combined will be stable at around 16%.

Of the 69 percent white vote, women will be approximately 35.5 points and men 33.5.

Therefore, white women and minorities will, combined, represent between 66.5% and 67.5% of the voting electorate in 2016.  Trump is polling terribly with this overall group either in favorability or head to head with Hillary Clinton.  

In order to win in November, Trump will need, at a minimum, to do the following:

  • Win 30% of the Hispanic vote (Romney won 27% in 2012)
  • Win 10% of the African-American and Asian vote (Romney won 9%)
  • Win 65% of white male vote (Romney 62%)
  • Win 64% of white female vote (Romney 56% in 2012)

It should be noted that no one since Ronald Reagan in 1984 has come close to winning 64-65% of the overall white vote.  The highest was George H.W. Bush in 1998 with 60%.  The average of the other election cycles since 1984 is 54.5%.

Currently Trump is viewed favorably (recent poll averages) by 11% of African-Americans; 21% of Hispanics; 34% of white women, and 49% of white men.  Other than among white men, Hillary beats Trump in head-to-head polling.

Can Trump win in November?  It is a formidable mountain to climb.  This election primarily revolves around Hillary and the campaign she runs.  On the other hand, Trump must evolve into a serious and viable opponent.  As of today, that eventuality appears remote, therefore it is Hillary’s election to lose.