Conservatism in America is at its lowest point in over a decade. Following the results of the two Georgia Senate Runoff Elections and the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President in American History, all hope seems lost. Donald Trump — the most popular Republican President in recent history — is leaving office in two weeks after just one term in office. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party enters 2021 with majorities in both chambers of Congress to go along with the Presidency. But, how did this happen? How did once thought of as solid red states like Arizona and Georgia go blue in 2020? The simple answer is demographic change.
The definition for Demographics is, “statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it.” So, how does that relate to politics? As of 2018, 67% of eligible voters in the United States were white which is down almost double digits from 2000 (76%). As the country becomes more non-white, it will become more and more difficult for Republicans to win in states like Arizona, Georgia, and even Texas.
In the time period from 2000 to 2018, both Georgia and Arizona saw a double-digit decrease in the number of white voters apart of the electorate. Mitt Romney won these states by nearly double digits in 2012 and they even were won in 2008 by reasonable margins despite Barack Obama having a near landslide victory. By 2020, Joe Biden won the pair at the presidential level and following the Senate Runoffs in Georgia, both states are now represented by two Democratic senators. 2021 will mark the first year since 1953 in which Arizona does not have at least one Republican Senator.
But this trend does not end in just Arizona and Georgia. It is believed that by 2044, whites will make up a minority of the total US population. This will include deep red southern states like Louisiana and Mississippi that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. As the states become less white, it will be evident in election results. Conservatives will struggle to compete in once deep red states because of a new wave of voters.
You will hear arguments from most generic conservates that the GOP must move to the center to appeal to minority voters. Meanwhile, they will ignore Donald Trump’s record number of minority votes received in the 2020 election. It is quite obvious that his economic populist policies appeal to these voters.
For conservatives to be able to continue to compete in national elections, they will have to find an answer to demographic change. This may mean pushing back harder on legal immigration and the use of green cards. But hopefully the ground gained with Hispanics and other non-white voting blocs will continue to grow.