Republican Ted Cruz made headlines late in 2015 during his Presidential campaign when he said that most violent criminals are Democrats. Although this statement was based on limited data, these Democratic Party demographics do provide an insight into people who generally characterize themselves as being “liberal” instead of being “conservative.”
48% of US voters who state that they have a strong affiliation for a political party belong to the Democratic Party.
This is compared to 39% of the population which states they affiliate with the Republican Party. Here are the demographics that tend to tilt toward the Democrats and what that might mean for future Presidential elections.
Who Prefers the Democratic Party?
- 80% of Black/African-American voters state that they prefer the Democratic Party. Just 11% of this demographic prefers the GOP.
- 65% of Asian voters say that they have a strong preference for the Democratic Party.
- Only one religious population, the Jewish people, support Democrats as a majority at 61%. This is the same percentage of people who consider themselves religiously unaffiliated and support the DNC.
- Women with post-graduate degrees support the Democratic Party at a 64% to 29% ratio.
- Hispanics support the Democratic Party at a 56% to 26% ratio.
- Women overall lean Democratic by 52%-36%, compared to men who are evenly divided between the two parties.
- Democrats hold a substantial advantage among all unmarried adults, but their lead in leaned partisan identification is greater among unmarried women at 57% to 29%.
As the population base switches away from white men as an overwhelming majority, things would seem to be bright for the Democratic Party. After all, minority groups support Democrats with an advantage of up to 69 percentage points. Yet all is not bright for the Democrats. 13% of the voting population does not identify with a political party, preferring to remain completely independent. Although 48% of voters may say that they are Democrats, only 32% of voters actually identify themselves as registered Democrats. This means that every election is up for grabs. As for the ex-felons, many states see them registering as independents or for third parties instead of for the GOP or the DNC.
Younger Voters Are Also Leaning to the Democratic Party
- 51% of Millennials identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 35% who identify with the GOP or lean Republican.
- Hispanics are more likely to register as a Democrat [34%] than a Republican [13%].
- 34% of those with a college degree or more education identify as Democrats, compared with 24% who identify as Republicans.
- For people with just a high school education, 47% say that they vote for the Democratic Party.
- 52% of those with at least one college degree also vote for Democrats more often than Republicans.
- The only age demographic that Democrats do not win when there is a clear preference is for a political party is in the 69+ age group, also known as the Silent generation. This is actually a change from data in 1992 when 52% of this voting demographic preferred the DNC.
- White voters in every category, however, prefer Republicans over Democrats, including White Millennials.
There are two places where Democrats struggle to gain a foothold with a voting demographic: with whites and with those who have an evangelical religious preference. Even then, however, being in a minority group influences which political party someone prefers. Blacks/African-Americans who consider themselves to be extremely religious still prefer the Democratic Party at an 8:1 ratio. 40% of Democratic voters come from minority groups, which means as the US becomes more racially diverse, if the data points remain consistent, then the GOP doesn’t stand much of a chance for survival in the future.
Are the Democratic Party Demographics Changing?
- With 60% support, the Democratic Party is still a majority White/Caucasian party.
- More than 1 in 5 Democrats are Black/African-American, or about 2x the black representation in the adult population.
- Asians are more likely to identify as being a Democrat than being a Republican.
- Being high income doesn’t necessarily mean someone votes for the GOP: 85% of Black/African-American voters with a household income of at least $40k per year vote for the Democratic Party.
- The largest White/Caucasian demographic which supports the Democratic Party are people who identify as being atheist – at 73%.
What is interesting about these Democratic Party demographics is the shift in the Asian population since the 1992 & 1996 Presidential elections when the GOP received a majority of their votes. Asians even voted 7 percentage points higher for Barack Obama in his re-election campaign of 2012 compared to 2008 election figures, one of the few demographics to do so. The Democratic Party is changing in some ways because they are becoming more racially diverse. Since 9 out of 10 Republicans are White/Caucasian, that creates a clear distinction between the two groups. If that will lead to future political success, only time will give us that answer.
Do The Democratic Party Demographics Guarantee a Win?
- In 2012, Mitt Romney received a greater proportion of White/Caucasian votes than Ronald Reagan, but lost the Presidential election by 4 percentage points.
- The 2016 election is expecting to see a 2% fall in the White/Caucasian voting electorate.
- Basic demographic shifts in the US voting public give the Democratic Party a 1.5% higher margin than they had in 2012.
- Rising educational rates in the White/Caucasian population is shifting support away from the GOP toward the DNC. Obama carried 42% of White/Caucasian college graduates, but just 36% of non-college Whites/Caucasians.
- 22% of independent voters prefer to support a third-party candidate or will decide not to vote instead of supporting a Republican or a Democrat.
- In 2014, despite the shifting demographics, the GOP won their largest majority in Congress since 1928.
The 2016 election appears to be a pivotal decision for the future of the United States. Statements like the one Ted Cruz made are intended to increase the passions of his own voting base, but will they help to influence other demographics? As the support for Donald Trump remains consistent, it is clear that US citizens are fed up with the “politics as usual” atmosphere that has invaded Washington, DC. Voters are ready to make a change. That means the Democratic Party demographics for 2016 and beyond won’t guarantee a win because of how many voters see themselves as being independent first and party-affiliated second. The data points are clear: it matters more toward the race and age of a voter than it does the voter’s income, criminal history, or employment when determining who is going to support the Democratic Party.