Electoral Demographics and a History of Presidential Primaries

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A voter arrives at a polling station on primary day in Tampa, Florida.
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In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, writer Timothy Egan makes this observation about the voters turning out for GOP primary contests around the country: "There is no other way to put this without resorting to demographic bluntness: the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large." He goes on to make this observation about the demographic of the Republican primary electorate: "They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012."

Kenneth C. Davis is author of "Don't Know Much About History." He explains why the demographic of primaries seemed be skewed toward white voters.