Battleground State Demographics Diverge

The two states that may decide the 2004 presidential race are hardly demographic twins, writes William H. Frey.
September 8, 2004, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Florida and Ohio—two of the most critical "battleground" states in the fall presidential election—are "hardly demographic twins," writes visiting fellow Bill Frey in this month's issue of American Demographics. To the contrary, argues Frey, the two states' respective populations reflect "vastly different electorates moving inexorably in opposite demographic directions." Florida, on the one hand, epitomizes a swath of battleground states that is growing rapidly, both from domestic and foreign migration. By contrast, Ohio's population growth lags behind along with ten other stagnant battlegrounds. Given those crosscurrents, Ohio and Florida loom as at once similar and different this fall, suggests Frey. Each state may exert heavy influence on who gets elected in November, but going forward Florida's clout is on the upswing, while Ohio's is waning.

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 in The Brookings Institution
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