The precarious future of the Republican party

Tucker White, Guest Writer

If the Republican party does not change they will be resigned to a position of little political power in Washington D.C for a long time. This has happened throughout American history when one party is unable to find the right message and tone to connect with the voting public therefore unable to win national elections. Currently, this is likely to happen to the Republican party if they continue to isolate themselves from large voting blocks like women, people of color, and young voters. Because of this, to have any success in national elections over the next few decades the Republican party needs to become a more progressive and inclusive party.

According to the Pew Research Center, in every election dating back to 1984 women have voted at higher rates than men. Recently, women have increasingly supported Democratic candidates. For example, the gap between the percentage of women who vote Democrat and women who vote Republican has grown from a six-point difference favoring Democrats to an 18 point difference from 1994 to 2018. Admittedly, more men vote Republican at this point in time and so far that has been enough to counteract the shift in the voting habit of women. But, a voting block that makes up over half of the electorate continually moving away from the Republican party puts them in a precarious position. The Republican party must adjust their beliefs on issues such as abortion if they wish to maintain their base of conservative women.

Non-white voters are also a group that Republicans struggle with. According to the Pew Research Center in 2016, only six percent of Black voters voted for Trump and only 28 percent of Hispanic voters voted for Trump. This is especially problematic for Republicans because in recent decades they have become a larger percentage of the voting populace which could endanger Republicans in national races. In fact, recent census projections show that by 2045 the U.S will be a majority-minority nation meaning that there will be more non-white people than white people. The growth of non-white voters, specifically Hispanic voters, has been especially significant in some southwest and southeast battleground states like Arizona and Florida. No matter how you configure it, if these become reliably Democratic states the electoral math becomes very difficult for Republicans. For example, if those two states went for Democrats in 2016 Clinton would have won. To have a chance at appealing to these voters the Republican party needs to evolve on issues like immigration and police reform.

Young people are also a big problem for the Republicans. According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2016 election, Trump won only 28 percent of voters 18 to 29. This is going to become a more dire problem over time for Republicans due to shifts in the age demographics of the election. There is an argument proposed by many conservatives that this doesn’t really matter because young people are always liberal when they are young but as they get older they become more conservative. According to NPR, right now the Republican party is fighting young people on a lot of issues like climate reform and Medicare-for-all. At some point, they need to alter this or they will inevitably ingrain themselves in the minds of young people as a backward party with whom they will not want to associate.

The first and most important step to the Democrats at this moment is to oust President Donald Trump on Nov. 3. It is unrealistic to think that the party can change when their unofficial leader calls Mexican immigrants “rapist” and “criminals”, brags about sexual assault, and promotes ideas that don’t align with America’s youth. If they don’t, the Republican party will be further cemented in the minds of people as an institution that is mainly welcoming to less important demographics. This legacy could make it difficult for the Republican party to win national elections in the future because these demographics will not make up a large enough percentage of the electorate to win. Because of this, the upcoming election is one of the most important elections the Republican party has faced in a long time. On that day Republicans need to ask themselves what is more important to them: another 4 years of a Republican in the White House or the following 20 years after Trump leaves.