By Peter Brimelow & Edwin S. Rubenstein
DEMOGRAPHY is destiny in American politics. This point was made brilliantly almost exactly thirty years ago, by Kevin Phillips in The Emerging Republican Majority (1968). In the shadow of the Democrats' long-dominant "Roosevelt coalition," and amid the wreckage and recrimination of the disastrous Goldwater defeat, Phillips boldly predicted a generation of Republican victories based on the persistent but dynamic pattern of ethnic politics. He has been triumphantly vindicated.
But the Republican hour is rapidly drawing to a close. Not because the "Phillips Coalition" of the West and the South, of the middle class and urban blue-collar voters, is breaking up in the traditional manner. Instead, it is being drowned—as a direct result of the 1965 Immigration Act, which ironically became effective in the year Phillips's book was published. Nine-tenths of the immigrant influx is from groups with significant—sometimes overwhelming—Democratic propensities. After thirty years, their numbers are reaching critical mass. And there is no end in sight.
From the New York Times in 2019:
A new kind of suburbanization is sweeping through politics, from Richmond to Atlanta, Houston, Denver and elsewhere, and Democrats are starting to breach Republicans’ firewalls in elections.
By Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff
Nov. 9, 2019
SOUTH RIDING, Va. — Not long ago, this rolling green stretch of Northern Virginia was farmland. Most people who could vote had grown up here. And when they did, they usually chose Republicans.
The fields of Loudoun County are disappearing. In their place is row upon row of cookie-cutter townhouses, clipped lawns and cul-de-sacs — a suburban landscape for as far as the eye can see. Unlike three decades ago, the residents are often from other places, like India and Korea. And when they vote, it is often for Democrats.
… Mr. Katkuri’s vote — the first of his life — helped flip a longtime Republican State Senate district and deliver the Virginia statehouse to the Democratic Party for the first time in a generation. It was a stunning political realignment for a southern state, and prompted days of prognosticating about President Trump’s own standing with suburban voters nationally in 2020. But while political leaders come and go, the deeper, more lasting force at work is demographics.
Once the heart of the confederacy, Virginia is now the land of Indian grocery stores, Korean churches and Diwali festivals. The state population has boomed — up by 38 percent since 1990, with the biggest growth in densely settled suburban areas like South Riding. One in 10 people eligible to vote in the state were born outside the United States, up from one in 28 in 1990. It is also significantly less white. In 1990, the census tracts that make up Mr. Katkuri’s Senate district were home to about 35,000 people — 91 percent of them white. Today, its population of 225,000 is just 64 percent white. …
It’s not just Virginia. From Atlanta to Houston, this pattern is repeating itself — a new kind of suburbanization that is sweeping through politics. The densely populated inner ring suburbs are turning blue, while the mostly white exurban outer ring is redder than ever. Elections are won and lost along that suburban line, and in some places — like Atlanta, Denver, and Riverside County, Calif. — Democrats have begun to breach Republicans’ firewalls. …
But in other cities — like Charlotte, Indianapolis, St. Louis — the Republican advantage in the outer-ring areas countered the gains that Democrats made in more densely populated neighborhoods.
Democrats took control of the House and elevated Nancy Pelosi to speaker in 2018 because of victories in these fast-changing parts of America, and both parties are preparing for battle over these voters in 2020. …
The influx of immigrants and their U.S.-born children, the spread of high-density suburbia and the growth of higher education all tilt the field toward the Democrats. …
In the 13th Senate district, where Mr. Katkuri lives, one in five residents are immigrants. The district had been Republican for longer than Mr. Katkuri had been in the United States. He came in 2006 at the age of 25 as a tech worker, and lived for a while in New Jersey. But it was congested and expensive, and crime was high. After visiting a friend in Virginia, he moved.
“You drive from the northeast and you fall in love,” he said of Virginia. The state felt more like what he had imagined America would be. “I like the wide roads and green trees. In India, we didn’t have this.”
He added, smiling: “It’s like a therapy.”
Today he works as an I.T. specialist for a company that contracts with the federal government, a job that has landed him in the upper middle class of American society. He drove to the Indian grocery in his silver Tesla. He has a house in the tidy suburb of Arcola a few miles away.
As Virginia’s population has grown it has also gotten wealthier. Households earning at least $150,000 have grown at three times the rate of the population over all.
Mr. Katkuri always thought he would be a Republican in America.
“Taxes, family values, these things are closer to our hearts,” he said. He likes Mitt Romney.
But when he got his citizenship in March and started talking with his friends about whom to vote for in the first election of his life, he realized it had to be Democrats. Mr. Trump helped him decide.
“The way he speaks, you get the feeling that you are separate,” Mr. Katkuri said. “This is not what we signed up for in America.”
It’s almost as if he still might have a bunch of cousins back home in India.
Around the advent of the modern immigration system, in 1965, foreign-born people made up only about five percent of the American population. Now they are nearly 14 percent, almost as high as the last peak in the early 20th century. The concentrations used to be in larger gateway cities, but immigrants have spread out considerably since then.
… Lakshmi Sridaran, who heads South Asian Americans Leading Together, said that about a third of South Asians in the United States now live in the South. The South Asian population in the South nearly tripled from 2000 to 2017, to 1.4 million.
Of the 10 metro areas that had the largest South Asian growth, five are in the South, said Ms. Sridaran, who was born in Atlanta, after her father took a teaching job at Morehouse School of Medicine in the early 1980s.