Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The New progressive America

Obama’s 53 percent of the 2008 popular vote is the largest share of the popular vote received by any presidential candidate in 20 years. Obama carried carried the electoral vote by an even more substantial 365-to-173 margin.

That’s a repeated pattern—state after state—helping send these states in a progressive direction. In Pennsylvania, for example, the white working class declined by 25 points between 1988 and 2008, while white college graduates rose by 16 points and minorities by eight points.

In Nevada, the white working class is down 24 points over the time period, while minority voters are up an amazing 19 points and white college graduates by 4 points.

These trends will continue. The United States will be majority-minority by 2042. By 2050, the country will be 54 percent minority as Hispanics double from 15 percent to 30 percent of the population, Asians increase from 5 percent to 9 percent and African Americans move from 14 percent to 15 percent.

Other demographic trends accentuate progressives’ advantage. The Millennial Generation—those born between1978 and 2000—gave Obama a stunning 66 percent to--32 percent margin in 2008. This generation is adding 4.5 million adults of voting age every year.

Or consider professionals, who are now the most progressive occupational group and increase that support with every election. Fast-growth segments among women like singles and the college-educated favor progressives over conservatives by large margins.

Even as progressives improve their performance among the traditional faithful, the growth of religious diversity—especially rapid increases among the unaffiliated—favors progressives.

By the election of 2016, it is likely that the United States will no longer be a majority white Christian nation.


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