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The Electoral College after Census 2010 and 2020: The Political Impact of Population Growth and Redistribution

  • Edward M. Burmila (a1)
Abstract

The combined effects of an aging population, domestic migration, and the geographically heterogeneous effects of foreign immigration are producing politically significant changes in the distribution of the American population. Using statistical projections of state populations in the 2010 and 2020 US Censuses combined with statewide estimates of the normal vote based on the last five presidential elections (1992–2008), I show that by 2024 Republican presidential candidates will receive a net benefit of at least eight electoral votes due to the declining population of the Northeast and upper Midwest relative to the rapidly-growing Sun Belt. Democratic presidential candidates will find it increasingly difficult to win elections without having some success in the South and Southwest as Barack Obama did in 2008 but many previous candidates failed to do. While migration will also benefit some solid Democratic states such as California, on balance Republican presidential candidates are poised to benefit from the status of Sun Belt states as magnets for both foreign immigration and domestic migration from a retirement cohort of unprecedented size.

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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
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