The Next Swing States: Arizona, Georgia, and Texas

Demographic experts predict the coming swing states

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One other interesting tidbit from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s forum on the demographics of the 2012 election: The two demographic experts were asked about states that don’t swing now but could flip their partisanship in a cycle or two. The answers: Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.

Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress and Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics identified the three states as ones which could flip their currently solid partisan affiliation in the medium term. "Arizona is very, very rapidly becoming a minority majority state," Teixeira said, adding that Georgia will likely be one by 2020 and so "could be in play." Trende noted that contra that classic migration patterns of African-Americans leaving the South, they are migrating to Georgia, which is changing the state’s demographic profile and will make it more competitive. He also made a good point about Texas, cautioning that while the demographics in Texas increasingly favor Democrats, they "have a ways to go there" because they don’t have a deep bench of politicians who have been successful there.

[Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP presidential candidates.]

The Cook Political Report currently rates Arizona and Georgia in the "Likely Republican" column for 2012 and Texas in "Solid Republican," but the underlying trends are indisputable.

Trende also argued that going in the other direction, the Upper Midwest figures to trend increasingly Republican. That would not be as a stark a switch, though, as those states are already toss-ups, so the shift would not be as surprising.

These things can move quickly—remember not too long ago when West Virginia was a solid blue state?

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