What Republicans Are Really Up Against: Population Density
Numerous theories have been offered recently not just for Mitt Romney’s stunning defeat by Barack Obama, but for the apparent decline of the Republican electoral coalition. Many emphasize the diverse demographic coalition — of women, ethnic minorities, and gays — that came together behind the president, while others stress the well-executed ground game and state-of-the-art analytic techniques used by the Obama campaign.
America’s increasingly diverse demographic makeup may well have created a long-term advantage for Democrats. Republicans had better change their stripes and address these new realities if they want to be relevant and competitive again.
As our own Sommer Mathis noted the morning after the election, county-level election results show that cities are very, very blue. “The math of assuming cities will go to Democrats and thus not bothering to craft a message aimed at the people who live there is just a losing game going forward for Republicans,” she wrote. “And it’s only going to get worse as urban populations increase and become more concentrated.” After examining a series of electoral maps, Emily Badger also concluded that electoral power is “concentrated in those blue-black patches, one of which strings all the way from southern Connecticut to Washington, D.C. These are the places where people live densely together, where they require policies and an ideology that Republicans lately have not offered.”