At 538 yesterday was a tidy summing up of the trecherous demographic waters facing the Republican Party as it moves into the next decade or two:
The Center for American Politics’ Ruy Teixeira, one of the top political demographers in the country, has a new paper out in which he examines the two major party coalitions, with a focus on the current and future prospects of the Republican Party. For the GOP, says Teixeira, things look grim, in large part because the country is becoming less white and more educated. He provides specific data showing how college educated voters are growing, and non-college educated shrinking, as shares of the electorate; likewise for the growing non-white v. shrinking white populations.
“The Democratic Party will become even more dominated by the emerging constituencies that gave Barack Obama his historic 2008 victory, while the Republican Party will be forced to move toward the center to compete for these constituencies. As a result, modern conservatism is likely to lose its dominant place in the GOP,” he writes, adding that “the Republican Party as currently constituted is in need of serious and substantial changes in approach.”
Got that? The GOP’s current traction comes from its emphasis on white racial and cultural appeals targeted to the non-college educated, and the country is, demographically, becoming less and less white and better and better educated. Put differently: Limbaugh/Fox Noise-style Republican nostalgia and stupidity-mongering has a clearly discernable cultural and demographic shelf life (thank God!), and it’s moving in on its expiration date.
A reason to dance, yes?