Jul 18, 2019

The GOP's demographic decay

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The single biggest threat to Republicans' long-term viability is demographics.

The big picture: The numbers simply do not lie. America, as a whole, and swing states, in particular, are growing more diverse, more quickly. There is no way Republicans can change birth rates or curb this trend — and there's not a single demographic megatrend that favors Republicans.

Why it matters: President Trump’s short-term calculation to stir up white voters with race-baiting rhetoric might very well echo for a generation.

About last night: Trump paused while speaking at a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally in Greenville, N.C., to savor supporters' new roar: "Send her back!"

  • "I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down," Trump said. "They never have anything good to say. That's why I say, 'Hey if you don't like it, let 'em leave, let 'em leave.'"
  • The context, from AP: "Not since George Wallace's campaign in 1968 has a presidential candidate — and certainly not an incumbent president — put racial polarization at the center of his call to voters."

For any Republican thinking past 2020, here are numbers to fear, reported by Axios' Stef Kight:

  • The Hispanic share of the population has grown in every state since 2000, according to Census data.
  • Hispanic people now make up a quarter of the population in Florida, almost a third of the population in Arizona and 39% of Texas — all Trump states in 2016 that are becoming more winnable by Democrats.
  • Florida and Texas, two of the big electoral giants that voted for Trump, are witnessing the fastest non-white population growth. 

This wave is only accelerating, as Stef reported in "America's majority minority future":

  • Next year, the entire under-18 population will be majority non-white, according to Brookings demographer William Frey.
  • In less than a decade, the under-30 population will be majority non-white.

Between the lines: Trump clearly thinks this is good short-term politics.

  • Truth is: It's unknowable, though highly debatable.
  • Long-term, it seems unambiguous: If you need more African American and Hispanic voters, maligning and marginalizing them strikes even some inside this White House as stupid politics.

Go deeper: A tough time to be a Trump supporter

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2020 Democrats: Trump is a white supremacist

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A group of 2020 Democrats have called President Trump a "white supremacist," an extraordinary charge at an extraordinary moment in American politics.

Why it matters ... This is a big shift from calling the president a white nationalist. Check out Merriam-Webster's definition of white supremacist: "a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 8, 2019

Trump allies welcome "white supremacist" charge from 2020 Democrats

Joe Biden works the Iowa State Fair yesterday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump campaign officials and sources close to the president tell Axios that they believe Democrats' extraordinary charge that the president is a "white supremacist" will actually help him win in 2020.

Why it matters: These Trump allies tell us that the claim by Democratic opponents is not only emboldening his base, but also alienating some mainstream Republicans who think Democrats have gone too far.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 9, 2019

Focus group: It's still the economy, stupid

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

WARREN, Mich. — Some swing voters here told us that even though they hate President Trump's behavior, they'll place more importance on the state of the economy — and their personal financial situations — when deciding how to vote in 2020.

Why it matters: This highlights the challenge for Democrats who relish the opportunity to label Trump as "lawless" or a "divider-in-chief." Every incumbent president since FDR who has avoided a recession in the lead-up to an election year was re-elected.

Go deeperArrowJul 19, 2019