Tipping the Scales: Immigration and Swing Districts in the 2018 Elections

Tipping the Scales: Immigration and Swing Districts in the 2018 Elections
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According to new research from New American Economy, many of 2018’s tightest races have seen a sharp increase in Hispanic American, Asian American, and foreign-born voters, in some cases outpacing the margin of victory in the district during the last election. The report, which analyzes the changing demographics of voting-eligible populations in 45 competitive Congressional races across the country, projects that the white vote is expected to decline in all but one of the 45 competitive districts between 2016 and 2018, while the Hispanic vote is projected to increase in all but eight of these districts during that same time period.

The report, Tipping the Scales: Immigration and Swing Districts in the 2018 Electionsexamines the 45 most evenly divided districts between Republicans and Democrats, based on The Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI). Using American Community Survey data and standard population projection methods, the report generates demographic forecasts for 2018 and 2020. Despite variations in population, size, and geography, these districts share common trends, including:

  • In all but one of the districts surveyed, white voters are expected to decrease as a share of each district’s total electorate between 2016 and 2018. These decreases are expected to continue even more into 2020.
  • Meanwhile, between 2016 and 2018, the Hispanic population is expected to increase as a share of the electorate in 37 of the 45 districts, the foreign-born population is expected to increase in 34 of the 45 districts, and the Asian-American population is expected to increase in 39 of the 45 districts.
  • In four districts, the estimated increase in the minority vote between 2016 and 2018 will actually exceed the 2016 margin of victory for the Republican incumbent candidate. By 2020, that will be true for five districts.

The full report, including methodology, is available here.

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