How 2020 killed off Democrats’ demographic hopes

“The joke is that the GOP is really assembling the multiracial working-class coalition that the left has always dreamed of,” says David Shor, a Democratic polling and data expert who developed the Obama 2012 campaign’s internal election-forecasting system…

“We have an election system that makes it basically impossible for Democrats’ current coalition to ever wield legislative power,” says Shor. “We are legitimately in a position from here on out where we would need to get 54 percent of the popular vote — which we did not even accomplish this time — for multiple cycles in a row, for us to be in a position to really pass laws.”

Florida is a very instructive push back against this idea of demographics as destiny. More than twice as many Florida voters cast ballots in 2020 as did in 2000. The Florida electorate is substantially less white than it was in in 2000. And yet, it is more Republican than it was 20 years ago. The reason that happened is that basically there used to be a bunch of rural white people in northern Florida who voted for Democrats, and that kind of stopped. Then, at the same time, the non-white population at first trended toward Democrats, and now it is turning against us. There are a lot of different factors.

When you look at Georgia, basically, we kind of bottomed out with rural white people over the past 20 years. So, there wasn’t much more bottoming out to do, so there is a lot of room to grow. The real story behind Georgia, much more than demographic inflow, is just these enormous swings in the Atlanta suburbs, which make up most of the state. There are a bunch of precincts where Obama got 30 percent of the vote, where now Trump got 30 percent of the vote — absolutely wild swings in these highly educated suburbs. That’s most of the story.