According to an analysis by CNN, Republican losses in the U.S. Southwest have accelerated during the presidency of Donald Trump to the point where the GOP could become the minority party in states that have long been GOP strongholds.
The report notes that New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado have trended Democratic in recent years but now Texas and Arizona have been put in play at a pace faster than political analysts expected.
Calling those two states "the region's two biggest electoral prizes," CNN political analyst Ronald Brownstein pointed out, "now Democrats appear poised for a potentially historic breakthrough across all of the region's battlefields next month."
With Biden expected to easily win the Electoral College votes of Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, the report states Arizona appears to be edging into the Democratic nominee's columns and that, surprisingly, Texas seems available for the plucking.
'Though Trump remains favored in Texas, which no Democratic presidential nominee has carried since 1976, Biden is running close enough to sustain the party's dreams of an upset -- and to fuel its hopes of winning several US House seats and regaining control of the Texas State House of Representatives for the first time in 20 years," Brownstein wrote.
Echoing that sentiment, Robert Lang of the Brookings Mountain West center at the UNLV stated, "The West is not the Deep South anymore. At this stage, it can't be relied on by the Republican Party into some distant future."
According to the report, demographics in the region are not on the Republicans' side with "steady growth across almost all of these states in the non-White population, particularly among the younger generations aging into the electorate every four years," and that "Democrats are finally establishing significant beachheads in the big metropolitan areas across the Southwest, including their white-collar suburbs (just as they are in the Southeast)."
While those changes were in the works before Trump was elected in 2016, his presidency -- and in particular his handling of the coronavirus which has the hit the elderly hard -- has pushed the senior demographic into the Democratic camp too which has been a big setback for the Republican Party.
"There's no question he has accelerated them, particularly the geographic reconfiguration that has seen Republicans consolidate their hold on small-town and rural places that are generally stagnant or shrinking in population at the cost of greater resistance in the urban centers and inner suburbs that are exploding in numbers," Brownstein explained with Lang adding, "Trump has helped it along. He takes processes that might have taken another two cycles and puts them squarely into this one."
As Brownstein notes, the collapse of the GOP in the regions should be a red flag for the party because they contain some of the fastest-growing communities in the country.
"Census data show that from April 2010 through July 2019, the latest period for which figures are available, Maricopa (Phoenix) added more people than any other US county, with Harris (Houston) ranking second, Clark (Las Vegas) fourth, and five other Texas counties -- Tarrant (Fort Worth), Bexar (San Antonio), Dallas, Collin (outside of Dallas) and Travis (Austin) -- all finishing in the top 10," the report states.
You can read the particulars about each state here.