A general election that pits Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump will produce a decisively more affluent and better educated Democratic presidential electorate and a decidedly less affluent and less educated Republican one than in any previous election going back as far as 1976.
.. He has successfully appealed to middle- and lower-income white voters motivated by opposition to liberalized attitudes and social norms on matters of race, immigration and women’s rights.
.. “The Second Demographic Transition: A Concise Overview of Its Development,” by Lesthaeghe, summarizes this concept:
The SDT starts in the 1960s with a series of multifaceted revolutions. First, there was the contraceptive revolution, with the introduction of hormonal contraception and far more efficient IUDs; second, there was the sexual revolution, with declining ages at first sexual intercourse; and third, there was the gender revolution, questioning the sole breadwinner household model and the gendered division of labor that accompanied it.
.. These three “revolutions” fit within the framework of an overall rejection of authority, the assertion of individual freedom of choice (autonomy), and an overhaul of the normative structure. The overall outcome of these shifts with respect to fertility was the postponement of childbearing: mean ages at first parenthood rise again, opportunities for childbearing are lost due to higher divorce rates, the share of childless ever-partnered women increases, and higher parity births (four or more) become rare.
.. With rare exceptions, the same pattern emerged in all four states: the lower the S.D.T. ranking, the higher Trump’s votes compared with his statewide average; the higher the S.D.T. level, the lower Trump’s vote.
.. Trump gains the party ground among declining segments of the population — less well educated, less well off whites — and loses ground with the growing constituencies: single women, well-educated men and women, minorities, the affluent and professionals.
.. Trump is not, as many charge, violating core Republican tenets. Instead, he represents the culmination of the rear-guard action that has characterized the party for decades.