The Census Bureau released two important data sets last week that have big implications for U.S. policy – and that challenge some prevailing assumptions for Democrats and Republicans.
The first set of data presents long-term demographic trends widely seen as pro-Democrat: Hispanics, Asian Americans, and multiracial voters have increased as a share of the electorate in the last two presidential elections, and White voters – who historically tend to support the GOP – fell to 71% in 2020 from 73% in 2016.
The other data set tells a second story. Population growth continues to accelerate in the South and West, so much so that some Republican-leaning states in these regions are getting more votes in constituencies. The states won by President Biden are worth 303 electoral votes, compared to 306 electoral votes in 2020. The Democratic disadvantage in the electoral college is only getting worse.
These demographic and demographic shifts powerfully clarify electoral politics in America: The growing racial diversity among voters does not do as much to help Democrats as liberals hope, or to hurt Republicans as much as conservatives fear.
The growing democratic disadvantage in the electoral college shows how the nation’s growing diversity may not help Democrats enough to win where they need help most. Just as often, population growth is concentrated in red states – like Texas and Florida – where Democrats fail to win non-white voters by the overwhelming margins needed to overcome the state’s Republican advantage.
When it comes to Republicans, the widely held assumption that the party will fight as white voters decline as a percentage of the electorate may be more of a myth than reality. Contrary to what Tucker Carlson has repeatedly said on Fox News about the rise of the “white replacement theory” as a Democratic electoral strategy, the growing racial diversity of the country has not significantly increased the party’s chances. Instead, Republicans face a challenge they often take for granted: white voters.