Much has been discussed about the racial and ethnic trends that will force the Republican Party to realign its platform and campaign strategies to stay relevant. But not much thus far has been discussed about a new trend in voting that will have just as great an impact if not more, EARLY VOTING.
The following chart shows the split of Democrat versus Republican votes along voter income strata.
Interesting thing about this chart is that if voting were equally numbered among each economic sub-class, no Republicans would be elected. Therefore, higher income electorate represent a higher percentage of the vote. This is why changes in laws allowing for early voting were crucial to the Democrat win in 2012 and why future elections will be critically affected by early voting.
32 states and DC now allow early voting. 36 percent of the votes cast were during early voting. This trend toward early voting has yet to be saturated, as Obama’s campaign was really a pioneer of the strategy of early vote organizing. The strategy favors Democrats because of the economic sub-class vote percentage discrepancy, so early voting percentages will surely increase in the next election cycles.
This saturating trend will continue to place pressure on Republicans whose election-day voter percentages are higher. As more states add early voting and as the Democrats improve their capabilities to organize, look for Republicans to have to adjust their party platform and campaign strategies.
An internal struggle must ensue because of early voting and racial/ethnic trends. It is inevitable. If hardliners win this cycle, 2016 and beyond could signal the death of the Republican Party. America could very well see a three party system emerge. Caucuses within the Republican Party must now decide how to react to this trend and how to secure their place in the Party before the coming epic battle.