In a report on the changing demographics in multiple states that are causing formerly dependable Republican states to become Democratic Party-leaning — and vice versa — Politico points out that Donald Trump's racial policies will soon blow up in the face of future Republican national candidates who don't have his gift for harnessing voter resentment.
Noting that Trump pulled off an extraordinary feat by plucking "Blue wall" states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin out of the Democrat's column in the 2016 election, Politico reports that Trump's campaign hopes to hold those three states and to add Minnesota's 10 electoral votes in 2020.
"Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were part of its foundation — but so was Minnesota, which Hillary Clinton won by just 45,000 votes after nearly a half-century of Democratic top-of-ticket dominance. Even Walter Mondale — who was also a native son — won Minnesota in Reagan's 48-state 1984 reelection landslide," the report notes. "Despite that history as a blue state lodestar, Trump nearly pulled off a victory there that would have been the shocker of a shock election. His stunning near-miss — he fell short by just 1.5 percentage points despite spending limited money and attention there — has placed it high on the Trump reelection campaign wish list."
"While the state's demographics aren't quite as favorable to Trump as those in several other nearby states, his campaign has already said it's planning to pour up to $30 million into the state. That's roughly 1,000 times what it spent there in 2016. To show his resolve, the president has also visited the state a handful of times since capturing the White House," Politico's Charlie Matesian reports.
But, looking beyond, 2020, Trump may also be doing severe long-term damage for whomever Republicans pick to succeed him after he is termed out.
"Yet just as Trump created a dilemma for Democrats, he also created one for himself—and for future GOP nominees," the report states. "His brand of populism and white grievance politics amped up rural turnout in key states, particularly in key Midwestern states where white, non-college voters cast more than half the vote in 2016. While that enabled Trump to pick off five states that Obama carried twice, it also planted an Electoral College time bomb, set to detonate after he leaves office."
"The president has tethered the party's future to a shrinking population while at the same time accelerating the crack-up of the GOP's suburban base and alienating Hispanic and minority voters in many states where the nonwhite share of the vote is growing," Matesian wrote. "These shifts are already shaping the contours of Trump's reelection map. Virginia and Colorado — two states with significant populations of white, college-educated voters and non-white voters — offer a look into that possible future. The Republican Party's standing in the two states has nosedived in recent years, leaving both under near-complete Democratic control."
"Similar demographic forces are combining to turn longtime red states Arizona and Georgia — neither of which has been a core battleground state before—into two of the most competitive in 2020. Arizona has voted Democratic just once in 70 years; Georgia just once in the past 36 years," the report continues. "This year, though, no one questions the strategic relevance of Arizona and Georgia. Arizona is expected to be so tight that it's listed by most political handicappers as a toss-up. Major news organizations, including CNN and the New York Times, now include it in their battleground state polling for the first time."
"Then there is Texas. Democrats have long predicted the state's changing demographics would lead to an inevitable transition from red to blue," the author reported, before noting that Texas's Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen made that exact point in a secretly recorded audio released last year, where he lamented that Trump "is killing us in the urban-suburban districts."
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