Democrats have long insisted that the future of American politics lies in increasingly educated, multiracial Sun Belt cities such as Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix. But for many Republicans the future may be embodied by Florida, which Trump has now won twice and where Republicans have held the governor’s mansion since 1999. That state has begun to hold out a new possibility—that the nation could become less white without becoming much less conservative. On Tuesday night, Trump won the votes of Floridians without college degrees by four points with a campaign that focussed heavily on his opposition to the democratic-socialist left—to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Republicans claimed would set a Biden Administration’s agenda. At the same time, in an interesting juxtaposition, a ballot measure that will raise Florida’s minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour passed with more than sixty per cent of the vote, winning even in conservative Florida counties like Polk, Pasco, and Sumter. Not long ago, only socialists and trade-unionists were willing to get behind a fifteen-dollar-an-hour minimum wage. You could look at numbers like these and think all that remains is for Republican politicians to follow the lead of their voters.
Easier said than done, of course—realignments are scarce in American politics, and Mitch McConnell, who has kept his Party focussed on a program of tax cuts for the wealthy for a decade, looks likely to retain power in the Senate. But the results so far suggest again that Trumpism is here to stay, whatever becomes of Trump, and that the next version might have an even greater emphasis on nationalism, anti-cosmopolitanism, and perhaps a Hawley-style opposition to Silicon Valley. (Last month, my colleague Nicholas Lemann outlined three possible possible paths for conservatism: this, which he called the Remnant, was one.) On Wednesday morning, the Catholic conservative legal scholar Adrian Vermuele, of Harvard, tweeted, “The future will be multiracial, working class, socially conservative populism and I can’t wait.” Hawley retweeted that.