Saturday, March 9, 2013
Republicans, Democrats and the demographic shift
Since the November election, in which Obama won huge majorities among minority voters, it’s been taken as gospel that the Republican Party must, for its own survival, seek to appeal to those groups by moving to the left on topics such as immigration reform. But as the nation becomes more diverse, the demographic shift can cut the other way, too: Some Democratic voters are likely to move to the right. It’s assumed that, as the United States becomes increasingly non-white, white Democrats will continue to support the party. But a substantial amount of social-science evidence suggests a different conclusion: As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, liberal whites might start leaning Republican. As ethnic groups mix, voters become more exclusionary and tend to vote for more racially conservative candidates — which may make it more difficult to maintain a diverse Democratic Party and could tilt the field in favor of Republicans.