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The generational makeup of the United States will change dramatically in the future, a shift that will have potentially profound effects in future elections, according to a new States of Change report published today by demographic experts from the Center for American Progress, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Brookings Institution, and the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group. For six years in a row, CAP, Brookings, BPC, and other organizations have collaborated on States of Change, a project that documents and analyzes the challenges to democracy posed by the rapid demographic evolution of the United States from the 1970s to 2060.
This year’s States of Change report explores how demographic changes could shape the next five presidential elections using national and state projections. The authors looked at race, age, education, gender, and generation, using a new set of projections for the nation and all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, based on Census data. They focused on what those projections imply for the presidential elections between 2020 and 2036 under different assumptions about future turnout and voter preference patterns by these demographics, with a particularly close look at generational change.
“In our report, we calculated the potentially game-changing effects of generational change in the electorate,” says Ruy Teixeira, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the analysis. “Generational change—working in tandem with other underlying changes by race and education—has the potential to create much stronger headwinds for future GOP candidates than we have found in our previous research.”