We follow demographic changes closely here at Small Business Labs. The reason is simple. Demographic change is a major driver of new trends.
The Presidential election highlighted a number of U.S. demographic changes. The major change, of course, is the shift away from a white (to be more precise, Eurocaucasian) America. Exit polling shows that about 72% of people who voted were white, down from 76% in the last election - and over 90% in the 1992 election.
This shift had a big impact. Had the white/non-white percentage stayed the same as the last election, Romney likely would have won.
The percent of white Americans will continue to fall and sometime around 2040 Eurocaucasians will be less than 50% of the American populace. As of the 2010 Census, close to 50% of all Americans under the age of 18 were non-white.
But other demographic changes also impacted the election. For example, the "average American family" no longer exists. Only 22% of American households consist of a married couple with kids. This made candidates running on traditional family values themes less likely to win.
The decline of marriage is also changing America. It also had a big impact on this election, with single women overwhelmingly supporting Obama.
As a non-partisan research firm, we don't take sides on elections. But I think this election shows what happens when you ignore and/or miss demographic changes.
CNN has a good page on exit poll data by various demographic groups.