Studies have shown how some whites, who are dying faster than they’re being born in 26 states, react when they become aware of a tectonic demographic shift that will, with little historic precedent, reconfigure the racial and ethnic geography of an entire country. They swing to the right, either becoming conservative for the first time, or increasingly conservative — “politically activated,” explained Ryan Enos, a political scientist at Harvard University, who among others found that white Democrats voted for Trump in higher numbers in places where the Latino population had recently grown the most…

They feel threatened, even if not directly affected by the change, and adopt positions targeting minorities out of “fears of what America will look like,” said Rachel Wetts of the University of California at Berkeley, who argued in one study that recent calls by whites to cut welfare were born of racial resentment inflamed by demographic anxiety, even though whites benefit from the social safety net as well…

They empathize more deeply with other whites — a sense of group identity ignited — because “they feel like ‘We’re part of a threatened group, and we need to band together,’ ” said René Flores, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Chicago who has analyzed how whites reacted to the growing Latino presence in rural Pennsylvania.