Date: October 3, 2022
2016 may not feel like a significant time ago, but the 2020 elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine have all transformed the tenor and dynamics of American politics. Beyond political developments, the demographics of the electorate have continued to evolve significantly over this time.
Data from the 2020 Census already demonstrated how the U.S. population has continued to diversify ethnically and racially. This demographic change is now being seen in the voting-eligible population, as younger and more diverse generations age into voting eligibility and as more immigrants take the important step of gaining U.S. citizenship and the right to vote.
With the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, this map uses data from the Current Population Survey to show which states’ electorates are changing most rapidly. In swing states where close races are expected to take place, the extent to which changing electorates can be activated by each campaign may ultimately help determine who wins and loses come November.
To explore the map below, you can toggle between two values: The share of eligible voters in 2022; and the change in share of eligible voters from 2016 to 2022. Then selected one of eight different segments of the eligible voter population to see how each segment has changed over time. Hovering over a state provides more information on its eligible voter population, including the change in voting share of selected groups from 2016 to 2022 compared to the margin of victories for the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Methodology: Estimates are based on pooled samples of the 2016 and 2022 basic monthly samples of the Current Population Survey, downloaded from the IPUMS CPS website (www.ipums.org). The first six months of each year were pooled and the individual person weights in each adjusted accordingly in order to create an sample large enough to provide estimates for the selected eligible voter populations in each state. Data on each state’s margins of victory in the 2016 and 2020 were taken from “Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S Presidential Elections” (uselectionatlas.org).