Thursday, May 1, 2008

Indiana's Demographics

After the Pennsylvania primary, much was made of Obama’s senior problem. Exit poll data indicate that Obama has recently done better with younger voters, those with a college degree, and African Americans. Clinton has done better with Anglos and (sometimes) Hispanics, older voters, and those with less education. How did Pennsylvania’s demographics disadvantage Obama? And perhaps more importantly as we head into the Indiana Primary, are Indiana’s demographics similarly advantageous to Clinton?

The answer is mixed. Pennsylvania’s age distribution is older than the rest of the country. Indiana is more similar to the United States as a whole. This works in Obama's favor. Indiana’s race-ethnic distribution is much like Pennsylvania’s although there is a slightly higher proportion of African Americans. Given that Obama gets an extremely high percentage of the black vote, even this small difference can work in his favor, just as the slightly older age distribution in Pennsylvania worked in Clinton’s.

Slightly more hopeful news for Clinton can be found in the education distribution. Indiana has an even lower proportion with a bachelor’s degree than Pennsylvania. Her enthusiasm might be slightly dampened, however, when she finds that this is not because Indiana has more people who stopped their formal education at the end of high school. In Pennsylvania, Clinton won 64% of the votes of high school graduates who didn't go to college. Indiana's actually has a slightly smaller prorpotion of people in this group and proportionately more people who started but didn’t complete college. Clinton’s advantage in this group is not great;
she won 51% of this group in Pennsylvania.

Bottom Line: Overall the demographics of Indiana compared to Pennsylvania indicate that the upcoming race should be closer and and Demography is King.

Come back tomorrow for an analysis of trends in attitudes towards mother's employment.

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