- Click here for the article.
Ahead of the presidential election, the demographic profiles of the Republican and Democratic parties are strikingly different. On key characteristics – especially race and ethnicity and religious affiliation – the two parties look less alike today than at any point over the last quarter-century.
The fundamental demographic changes taking place in the country – an aging population, growing racial and ethnic diversity and rising levels of education – have reshaped both party coalitions. But these changes, coupled with patterns of partisan affiliation among demographic groups, have influenced the composition of the two parties in different ways. The Democratic Party is becoming less white, less religious and better-educated at a faster rate than the country as a whole, while aging at a slower rate. Within the GOP the pattern is the reverse: Republican voters are becoming more diverse, better-educated and less religious at a slower rate than the country generally, while the age profile of the GOP is growing older more quickly than that of the country.