By Perry Bacon Jr.
The Republican presidential primaries have drawn an electorate that is much older and less ethnically-diverse than the rest of the country, exit polls in key states show, a pattern likely to continue as the GOP holds primaries on Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi.
An analysis of the GOP primary electorate, as first detailed by National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, illustrates the increasing divide between Democrats, who are heavily reliant on support from blacks, Hispanics and voters under 40, and a GOP that is increasingly dominated by older and white voters.
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For example, in the 2008 general election, 75 percent of voters in Arizona were white, 4 percent black, 16 percent Hispanic. But in the GOP primary last month, 89 percent of voters were white, 1 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic.
In the 2008 general election, there was about an equal number of voters between ages 18-29 and voters over 65 in Arizona. In the recent Republican primary, 23 percent of voters were over 65, while only 12 percent were between ages 18 and 29.
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