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WASHINGTON — When Americans tune in to watch Vice President Mike Pence debate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Wednesday night, they’ll be watching a living encapsulation of the country’s demographic transformation over the last half century.

Pence traces his heritage to Ireland and Germany, pointing to two countries that represent some of the earliest waves of mass immigration to the United States.

Pence, 61, describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” His demographic — white, Christian and male — has been the dominant force of power for most of the country’s history.

Near the end of Pence’s childhood in 1976, 8 in 10 Americans identified as white and Christian.

In 2016, she became the first Indian American to be elected to the United States Senate.

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