The American Enterprise Institute sent a release about a report prepared by Karlyn Bowman and Andrew Rugg describing convention delegates. It examines delegates from 1968-2008.
I am focusing this analysis on the 2008 delegations.
How do the parties’ delegations track with the normal population? Otherwise, are delegates representative of the population they are supposed to represent?
See the slideshow post as I will review the data.
“According to the Center for American Women and Politics, 72 percent of eligible women voted in the 1964 presidential election, but only 60 percent voted in 2008.”
“Now women hold 90, or 16.8%, of the 535 seats in the 112th U.S. Congress — 17, or 17.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 73, or 16.8%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, three women serve as Delegates to the House from Guam, the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC. It is not a dramatic increase, but at least it is in the upward direction. We can all see we are not equal yet!”
All that I know is that there are more women than men in the USA and neither party’s delegations reflect that representation, though Democrats do better than Republicans.
Both parties have about the same proportional representation of college grads and post grads among their delegates.
What about minorities? Well, the AEI report has a category, “Blacks,” so that will have to do for this review.
In 2010 the percentage of the American population who are African Americans is 12.6% (38.9 million people). — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American
While they may be over represented among Democrat delegations, they are woefully underrepresented among Republicans. Parties cannot represent people if their delegations are nonrepresentative.
“The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University calculated that 35.7 percent of under-30 eligible voters in Oregon participated in last November’s elections, compared to just 24 percent nationally.”
Twice as many under 30 delegates attended the Democrat convention as Republicans.
As for representation by profession, Democrats and Republicans are nearly equally represented by lawyers at 17 and 16% respectively. Democrats have 8% teacher delegates and Republicans have none. Democrats had 24% union representatives and Republicans had 5%.
Democrats had 74% of delegates attending without a college degree whereas Republicans had 69%.
A telling story is that Democrats have 48% liberal participation whereas Republicans have 63% conservatives. That means Republicans are more right wing and less representative of the middle ground.
“AEI special report: Delegates at national conventions, 1968-2008
AEI Special Report
Karlyn Bowman, Andrew Rugg | AEI
August 27, 2012
Who are the convention delegates and how have they changed over time? A new AEI Special Report looks at the make-up of the delegates to both conventions starting in 1968. Read more to see how the number of union members, women, blacks, young people, lawyers, Protestants, Catholics, Jews and other groups at the conventions have changed over time.”