Turner says that in the short term, changing demography will not necessarily guarantee election results: “For a long time people have been saying that the marriage of Republican politics to white Christians was a losing game, but it wasn’t last year.”
And it bears saying that nothing guarantees that Latinos, African Americans, or other non-white groups in America will remain loyal Democrats. White Christianity is not an immutable category. After all, white Catholics and Mormons – formerly the targets of Protestant persecution – have themselves become a part of the white Christian coalition.
Last week John Judis, previously a leading advocate of “demography is destiny” predictions about an emerging Democratic majority, recanted, remarking: “Whiteness is not a genetic category, after all; it is a social and political construct that relies on perception and prejudice. A century ago, Irish, Italians, and Jews were not seen as white.
Jones, though, thinks that even if the trends aren’t decisive in the short term, “sooner or later these demographic realities will show up” in national elections. He adds: “We need to remember how close the 2016 election was.”