Democrats are counting on demographic change to help them win future presidential elections, including next year’s.
But three developments are pushing the country to the right, counteracting the idea that demography is political destiny. First, the rise of negative partisanship – that is, the intense hostility members of one party feel toward members of the other. Next, the nationalization of elections – the increasing tendency of voters to opt for straight ticket voting at all levels of government. Finally, there is growing income inequality within legislative districts, and this has partisan repercussions that are not necessarily what you would expect. All three trends are interacting with each other to the advantage of Republican candidates in contests for the House of Representatives and for state legislatures.