Ever get the growing sense that the Republican Party itself — not just Trump — is showing some real fear beneath all their amoral power-grabbing? That they’re also acting like a highly threatened animal, fangs and claws bared, facing an enemy that might kill it?
They are. That enemy is… time. And the repulsiveness of Donald Trump is only accelerating what’s coming, as younger voters (and today’s teens and tweens, watching this mess and waiting for their own 18th birthdays) reject Trump and turn away from the Trump-enslaved GOP in historic numbers.
The Atlantic isn’t the first to publish an essay on the coming political transformation of America thanks to our young people. But Ronald Browenstein’s piece here, The GOP’s Demographic Doom, is brand new, and it’s a strong one. Subtitle: “Millennials and Gen Z are only a few years away from dominating the electorate.”
It’s true. They are. Knowing that there are 1,000,000 new voters in Georgia is one bellwether. Many of that million new GA voters are younger voters. Another bellwether is Arizona, poised to narrowly flip blue this November as it grows ever more diverse. And the biggest is Texas, which will probably come very close to flipping blue this time. Texas will probably be the absolute #1 battleground state for 2024.
The Atlantic is behind a paywall, and I have to tell you — if you subscribe to just a few publications these days, I’d put them in the Top 5. They’ve just been terrific this past few years. But here are several key paragraphs from Browenstein’s piece:
Trump is eroding the Republican Party’s position with younger voters at precisely the same time as the massively diverse Millennials and Generation Z are poised to become the largest voting bloc in the electorate, as new research released this week shows. That prospect presents both a near- and long-term danger for the GOP. The immediate problem is that polls nationally and in key swing states show Joe Biden positioned to significantly expand on Hillary Clinton’s margin among younger voters, even as many more of them are signaling they intend to vote than did in 2016.
Another slice of the essay — with a key phrase underlined by me:
Terrance Woodbury, a Millennial Democratic consultant, recently told me that the attitudes expressed by younger generations on most policy issues mean Democrats should aspire to win three-fourths of their vote. One reason for that ambitious goal: Gen Z, like a youthful cavalry, will start entering the electorate in large numbers this year, and will reinforce the change that Millennials began. These young Americans, born from 1997 to 2012, are even more racially diverse than Millennials. Forty-nine percent of Gen Z are people of color, versus 45 percent of Millennials, according to a recent analysis of census data by the Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, another principal in the States of Change project. By contrast, more than 70 percent of Baby Boomers are white. (The younger, still-unnamed generation of Americans born beginning in 2013 is even more racially diverse—51 percent of them are nonwhite—but they won’t begin entering the electorate until 2031.)
In another study by Pew, analysts concluded that “similar to Millennials, Gen Zers are progressive and pro-government, most see the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity as a good thing, and they’re less likely than older generations to see the United States as superior to other nations.” All of that clangs against the agenda Trump has stamped on the GOP, of open resistance to racial and cultural change. (….) States of Change projects that Millennials and Gen Z will provide nearly half of all Democratic votes by as soon as 2028.
The GOP’s high-speed attempt to force through Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS appointment under obscenely hypocritical conditions begins to make a whole lot more sense in this light.
If they don’t do it RIGHT NOW… they might never get the chance again. For decades. American demographics are sliding hard against them. And, what a pity, the horribleness of Donald Trump is only worsening the slide.
After the 2012 election, in the Spring of 2013, a group that would probably describe themselves as “thoughtful Republicans” at the RNC put together a 97-page document that outlined the GOP’s problem. If it doesn’t appeal to a more diverse and younger America, the report warned, then the GOP’s political power will erode if not collapse in the coming decades.
The GOP’s 2016 response to that report? They lurched into 180-degree opposite: choose Donald Trump, praise and exalt him, coalesce around him, and become the Trump Party.
Younger Americans have been watching all of this, and most are responding with feelings of disgust. We will see their impact on the results very soon, just 10 days from now. And the longer-term trendlines are even more optimistic for the Democratic Party… and even more worrisome for the Republican Party.