How immigration reform and demographics could change presidential math
On the one hand, if the bill were passed, some of those immigrants would eventually vote. Roughly 80 percent of illegal immigrants are Hispanic, and about 10 percent are Asian — groups that voted heavily Democratic in the last two elections.
On the other hand, such legislation could plausibly improve the Republican Party’s brand image among Hispanics and Asian-Americans, perhaps allowing the party to fare better among these voters in future elections. Which of these effects would outweigh the other?
The answer is not necessarily obvious. As Harry J. Enten of The Guardian points out, such immigration reform is unlikely to create an electoral “bonanza” for Democrats, as some faulty attempts to analyze the question have concluded. But whether the legislation could be net-beneficial to the Republican Party depends on the assumptions you make.
So, I’ve designed a tool, in the form of an interactive graphic, that allows you to make different sets of assumptions about immigration reform, population growth and racial voting patterns. Although the graphic contains a number of simplifications, we hope it will be useful to experiment with. …