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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

The U.S. in 2045 will look a lot like Nevada in 2020.

  • The U.S. is on track to become minority white by 2045. Nevada is one of just four states that are already there.
  • Hispanic people are expected to make up 25% of the American population by 2045. They're 29% of Nevada's population today.
  • Immigration will likely be the backbone of the U.S.' future population growth, and will likely hit record levels by 2045. Today, immigrants' share of the Nevada population is the 5th largest of any state.
  • The vast majority of Nevadans live in urban areas, just as 89% of Americans are projected to by 2050, according to UN data.
  • At 10% of the population, Nevada's Black voting bloc is also significant. The U.S. will be 13% Black people in 2045.

In the shorter term, 2020 will be the first general election in which eligible Hispanic voters outnumber eligible Black eligible voters, and most of those voters are Democrats.

  • So the votes of Nevada's large Hispanic population likely will signal where the Hispanic vote is headed in bigger primary states such as Texas and California, and may be the deciding factor in Democrats' ideological identity crisis.
  • And if the caucus sees high turnout, Hispanic Federation SVP Brent Wilkes predicts "that enthusiasm will carry over into other states as well."
  • "Nevada will provide the first glimpse of how the candidates will fare in much of real America — especially with the highly diverse Democratic base," Brookings Institution's William Frey said.

Where it stands: Heading into the caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders is at the top of the RealClearPolitics polling average in Nevada with 30%; and polls also show him winning over Hispanic voters.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden is in second (16.7%), followed by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (14%) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (13.7%).

Yes, but: 7% of Nevada's population is undocumented — more than any other state and more than the national share, according to Pew.

"The connections to the challenges of being undocumented might perhaps resonate in a way in Nevada more so than other states around the country among Hispanic voters."
— Mark Lopez, director of global migration and demography research, Pew Research Center

The bottom line: Nevada's caucus results will tell us how demographic shifts are likely to change the balance of political power nationwide.

Go deeper

Kim Hart, author of Cities
Dec 31, 2019 - Economy & Business

Americans are moving less

Fewer than 10% of Americans moved to new places in the 2018-2019 year, the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking domestic relocations in 1947.

Why it matters: Despite a strong economy, more people are feeling locked in place. Young adults, who have historically been the most mobile, are staying put these days thanks to housing and job limitations. So are aging adults who are reluctant to (or can't afford to) make a move.

Georgia's early voting starts with heavy turnout

Voters wait in line to vote at the Buckhead Library in Atlanta on the first day of in-person early voting for the Georgia Senate runoff election. Photo: Jason Armond/Getty Images

Georgia's on an early path to a huge turnout in the two runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate, according to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's Office crunched by Axios.

By the numbers: Voters cast 482,000 ballots in roughly the first day and a half of early voting this week. That’s equivalent to one-third of the total in the last statewide general election runoff, held in 2018, and about one-fourth of the total ballots in the last Senate runoff, held in 2008.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.