This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Changing Demographics in Florida May Affect the Presidential Election

Florida is a swing state in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. It has enough electoral college votes to help swing the final tally one way or the other (to Clinton or Trump) and it is a state that could go one way or the other--it is demographically divided between Republicans and Democrats, rather than clearly leaning in one direction. On today's Morning Edition on NPR, their reporter Asma Khalid talks about how the state is changing demographically and what that might mean for the election.

Cubans are, of course, the most prominent group of Latinos in Florida, and they have traditionally been more likely to vote for Republican candidates than for Democrats. However, there is a new and growing group of Latinos in the state--Puerto Ricans--who are of course U.S. citizens, so there is no issue of immigration status, and they tend to vote for Democrats more than for Republicans. Furthermore, younger Cuban-Americans seem to be leaning more toward Democrats than Republicans. At the same time, internal migration into the state (which tops the U.S., according to this report) tends to be "gray" and these older white folks tend to be more likely to vote Republican.  Thus, the demographic picture is complicated. Khalid talks about the idea that Florida is simultaneously "browning and graying" with each group having essentially opposite political perspectives from the other.

It seems likely that differences in voter turnout among the "grays" and the "browns" in Florida will decide who that state will go for in this presidential election.

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