During the Obama years, the Republican party increased their affiliation with older, whites, men and the lower educated. The deliberate shift of the Republican voter under President Obama led to the rise of the white supremacist-endorsed Donald Trump.
It is even worse for Republicans than they could have imagined, as new data shows that the GOP is aging rapidly and could be facing national extinction.
The Pew Research Center released the results of the shifting affiliations between the two major parties on Tuesday, which showed that the “Democratic Party is becoming less white, less religious and better-educated at a faster rate than the country as a whole, while aging at a slower rate. Within the GOP the pattern is the reverse: Republican voters are becoming more diverse, better-educated and less religious at a slower rate than the country generally, while the age profile of the GOP is growing older more quickly than that of the country.”
As Democrats grab up more constituencies, Republicans have focused on getting more of the older voters, who make up a larger share of the electorate now, as well as white voters, men and those with lower levels of education. This growth, Pew says, was “especially apparent during Barack Obama’s presidency.”
Some of the sharpest movement toward the GOP has come among less educated and older whites. Whites with no college experience have become 14 points more likely to affiliate with the GOP since 2008, including a six-point shift over the last four years. White voters age 65 and older are now 13 points more likely to identify as Republican or lean Republican than they were eight years ago.
Today, fully 58% of Republican voters are 50 and older while the share under 50 has declined to 41%. Among Democratic voters, 48% are 50 and older, while 51% are under 50.
The share of voters who have a college degree or more education has increased by 10 percentage points since 1992, from 23% to 33%. Better-educated voters are increasingly identifying as Democrats and expressing liberal attitudes across a range of issues.
In spite of their growth with different groups, Democrats still maintain only a slight edge over Republicans in terms of party identification among registered voters, due to Republican growth with the large older population with 48% identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic. Forty-four percent identify as Republican or lean Republican. Pew notes, “That is identical to the balance of leaned party identification in 2012.”
As Republicans catered more and more to the populations they could get under Obama, it meant they doubled down on their Southern Strategy and sold their older, whiter, male, and less educated base a dream of white male poors with lower educations rising again.
Who to best sell that dream? Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump is great at telling lies and selling a turd as the most fabulous thing ever that he hand created on his own while ruling the world as an Alpha Male. This is why Donald Trump’s running mate wouldn’t denounce former KKK wizard Republican candidate David Duke as deplorable yesterday.
The truth is that Donald Trump is an entitled trust fund baby who wouldn’t be anywhere but prison if he weren’t white and rich, thanks to the efforts of his father. Donald Trump is a con artist of the highest order, and this is what made him so appealing to the base Republicans have cultivated.
And this is also why that base doesn’t care that Donald Trump lies, makes illegal donations to buy off an AG who is considering investigating Trump U, incites violence, says reprehensible things about everyone they hate and is the last person who could stand for family values.
Republicans like to blame Obama for Donald Trump, but the reality is that it was the Republican reaction to the growing Obama coalition that birthed Donald Trump.
The Republican party is relying on an aging group that will eventually die out. What may look good for Trump in the short run will haunt Republicans for years to come.
Donald Trump is the dinosaur leading the Republican Party to extinction, and demographics are the big bang in the Republican Party’s future. While Trump may seem like a good idea today, he is a symptom of the disease that will lead to their demise.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.