Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

The New Electorate and the Future of the Democratic Party

by Michelle Diggles, Ph. D

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The last two presidential elections have left Republicans reeling and Democrats crowing. But can Democrats rely on demographic changes to consistently deliver them to power in future elections? Are Hispanics, Asians, and Millennials brand-loyal to the Democratic Party? Has an enduring liberal majority finally arrived?

Many of those who have focused on the future for Democrats have cast victory as inevitable, arguing that the Democratic Party is destined to win with the new American electorate. But obscured within analyses of 2012 is a set of illusions about voters—illusions that could be dangerous and, if Democrats embrace them, could threaten the Party’s electoral prospects in the future.

This report summarizes the demographics of the 2012 presidential election and then unpacks the seven main illusions underlying the argument that “Demography is Destiny,” the wildly popular and to date unquestioned progressive view of the 21st century electorate.

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