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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

Why it matters: You can't win elections without diversity, bigger population centers and sufficient money.

Flashback: Before President Trump, the GOP acknowledged all this. Then-RNC Chair Reince Priebus said in his "autopsy" after Mitt Romney's loss in 2012:

  • "We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too. We must recruit more candidates who come from minority communities."

What's happening: Trump threw that out and realigned the GOP base away from suburbs and wealth, and toward white working-class people in small towns. 

  • New Gallup polling finds Trump remains above 50% with rural residents, white men and white adults without college degrees.
  • But he has dropped 9 points just this year with suburbanites — falling with both men and women — to 35%, after winning them in 2016.

Republicans have hemorrhaged support among suburban women during the Trump years. Now, the GOP even struggles in exurbs.

  • Trump's plaintive pleas to these vital voters have become a 2020 punchline. "Suburban women, you’re going to love me. You better love me," Trump said last night in West Salem, Wisconsin.

Another GOP drain: Voters are no longer following the traditional pattern of getting more conservative as they age.

  • In what Axios demographic expert Stef Kight calls the "liberal youth revolution," millennials and Gen Z are sticking with the Democratic Party as they move through adulthood.

The demographic wind shear is also hitting Republicans financially, the N.Y. Times shows in a new analysis.

  • In ZIP codes with a median household income of $100,000+, Biden beat Trump 3 to 1 in fundraising, "accounting for almost his entire financial edge. In the rest of the country, the two were knotted closely."
  • Trump's sweet spot: Areas averaging $50,000 or less.

What's next: Key players in the Republican Party tell Axios they're deeply concerned about winning back the suburbs.

  • Republicans eyeing 2024 runs know the party's current demographic math may not work for Trump again — and certainly won't work for them.
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Go deeper

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals. 

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.