Today, 7S continues to look at the demographic composition of the electorates in open congressional districts with the Eighth District. The first table shows the share registered Democrats in CD 8 broken down by (1) race and gender, (2) race and age cohort, and (3) gender and age cohort:
The second table presents the same three demographic breakdowns but for voters who participated in two of the last four Democratic primaries. Close examination of the data reveals substantial differences between the makeup of the potential electorate of registered Democrats and likely voters, defined here as those who have voted in two of the last four primaries.
While whites compose 66.1% of registered Democrats, they form 77.4% of two-time primary voters. In contrast, African Americans are 18.3 of registered voters but only 14.3% of two-time primary voters. The drop off in Latino turnout is even higher–from 8.2% registered to 4.6% two-time participants. The share of Middle Eastern voters also falls from 2.0% to 1.0%.
Gender and Age
Women comprise 58.7% of registered Democrats but 59.6% of Democrats who voted in two of the last four primaries. Expect candidates to focus especially on messages that hold greater appeal among this key Democratic demographic.
There are vast differences in participation by age cohort. People who are 60 and older are just 32.8% of registered Democrats but 55.9% of likely voters. On the other hand, voters who are 40 and younger are 32.5% of the registered Democrats in CD 8 but only 7.9% of likely voters.
Put the two together and it becomes crystal clear that older women are a central demographic. They may form just 30.5% of registered Democrats but are 47.0% of likely voters. The age distribution of Black and Latino voters skews young, so this key group of older women will be disproportionately white.
The data I possess here do not give religious affiliation, though data bases exist that can estimate the Jewish share of the electorate based on surnames as well buying lists that indicate religious background (e.g. subscribers to Washington Jewish Week).
One 2003 survey estimated that 113,000 Jews lived in Montgomery County with 78% living in lower Montgomery County, which is almost entirely within the Eighth. The number of people living in Jewish households (i.e. including non-Jewish members) was higher at 133,000 with 77% in the lower County.
The total population of Montgomery at that time was around 915,000, so Jews formed around 12% of the population with people living in Jewish households composing close to 15% of the population. Of course, different surveys with alternative methodologies could well produce other results.
The Jewish population is heavily Democratic. Moreover, Jews skew older than other groups, and are more likely to both be registered and turn out to vote. But they will not necessarily support Jewish candidates. While Ben Cardin did very well again Kweisi Mfume in 2006, Ike Leggett carried many of the most heavily Jewish areas of the County when running against Steve Silverman that same year.