America's shifting demographics should have Democrats feeling good about the future.
Governing magazine talked with analysts Sean Trende and Ruy Teixeira about how population trends may play out in the future. While the two say these trends won't automatically translate into gains for Democrats, it's hard denying that the trends look good.
Long-range projections expect minority population to only grow in the coming decades. The Census Bureau predicts Hispanics will jump from 16 percent of the American population in 2010 to 30 percent in 2050. Over the same period, whites are projected to drop from 65 percent to 46 percent.
Democrats are also making gains with white college graduates. Republicans still hold a slim advantage, but that difference has shrunk from 20 percent in 1988 to 4 percent in 2008. Like minorities, white college graduates as a share of the voting population have grown by 4 percent since 1988 and are expected to continue to do so.
Meanwhile, voters from the white working class (some college or less) are slowly disappearing. Their share of the voting population has declined by 15 percent from 1988 to 2008. That block is staunchly Republican with the GOP commanding a 20-percent advantage on average.
Rounding out the good news for Democrats is the emerging millennial generation. Young adults only slightly favored Democrats in 2000 (48 percent to 46 percent), but the gap widened to 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008. That population is expected to increase from 46 million eligible voters in 2008 to 90 million in 2020. Not coincidentally, the millenial generation is also expected to be more diverse.