Voters in House Districts that Flipped Are More Educated, More Diverse than in 2013

Number of college-educated voters and Hispanic/AAPI voters each increased in 30 flipped districts, eclipsed 2018 margin of victory in more than 20 districts

NEW YORK, NY — As additional House races are called in the weeks following the 2018 midterm election, new analysis from New American Economy shows a clearer picture of the changing electorate in key districts. In nearly every district that has flipped (so far*) from Republican to Democratic control, the number of college-educated adults and Hispanic and Asian American (AAPI) voters each increased between 2013 and 2018. In more than half of these districts, the increase of college-educated adults and Hispanic/AAPI voters each surpassed the margin of victory in the 2018 midterm election.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Voters in the districts that flipped are more educated now than in 2013.
    • In all districts that flipped, the number of college-educated adults increased sharply. In all but one, there were at least 10,000 more college-educated adults in 2018 than there were in 2013.
    • In all districts that flipped, the share of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree increased. In the district with the greatest change, California’s 45th district, the college-educated share of the population grew by 8.5 percentage points in just 5 years, or 75,858 people. Even in the district with the smallest change, Texas’ 7th district, the college-educated share in population increased by 0.6 percentage points, or 12,150 people.
    • In 23 of the districts that flipped, the number of new, college-educated residents outnumbers the margin of victory in this year’s midterm elections.
  • Voters in the districts that flipped are more diverse now than in 2013.
    • In all but three of the districts that flipped, the share of Asian American and Hispanic American eligible voters increased in the last 5 years.
    • In 21 of the districts, the number of Asian American and Hispanic American eligible voters increased by more than 10,000 in just 5 years.
    • In 20 districts, the number of new Asian American or Hispanic American eligible voters was higher than the margin of victory in 2018.
  • Many of the new voters in these districts are immigrants.
    • In all but 2 of the districts that flipped the number of foreign-born eligible voters grew over the last 5 years. In 22 of those districts, the share of the electorate that is foreign-born increased.
    • In several key districts that flipped (CA-49, VA-10, TX-32, and NY-11), the number of new foreign-born eligible voters increased by more than 20,000 in the last 5 years.
  • At the same time, the share of white voters in these districts declined.
    • In all but one of the districts that flipped, the share of the white vote shrank.
    • Several districts that flipped—NJ-2, NM-2, NJ-7, NY-11, and NY-22—had more than 10,000 fewer white eligible voters than they did just 5 years ago.
    • In 5 districts the decline in the number of white eligible voters was larger than the margin of victory in 2018.

See the full analysis here.

In many of these districts, the losing candidate ran on an explicitly anti-immigrant platform. And while it’s impossible to know exactly why any voter votes the way they do, it is clear that among these rapidly growing groups—college-educated, Hispanic, and Asian American voters—that message did not resonate.

To learn more about how anti-immigrant ads turned off key voters, check outNAE’s post-election analysis. To see how demographics have changed in 2018’s most competitive districts just in the last two years, see NAE’s latest research.

*This analysis includes the following districts that flipped from Republican to Democratic as of November 20, 2018, and that were not redistricted since 2016:

AZ-2, CA-10, CA-25, CA-45, CA-48, CA-49, CO-6, GA-6, IL-6, IL-14, IA-1, IA-3, KS-3, ME-2, MI-8, MI-11, MN-2, MN-3, NJ-2, NJ-3, NJ-7, NJ-11, NM-2, NY-11, NY-19, OK-5, SC-1, TX-32, TX-7, VA-10, WA-8.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…