How the Democratic and Republican Parties Have Changed, in 8 Charts

Profound demographic shifts have transformed one party but only modestly affected the other.

Add to Briefcase
Libby Isenstein and Ronald Brownstein
April 23, 2015, 7:29 a.m.

From Bill Clin­ton’s first elec­tion as pres­id­ent in 1992 to Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s second pres­id­en­tial can­did­acy in 2015, the Demo­crat­ic Party has been trans­formed by demo­graph­ic change and polit­ic­al re­align­ment, while the Re­pub­lic­an Party has changed much more mod­estly.

The fol­low­ing charts sum­mar­ize the key changes in the com­pos­i­tion of Amer­ic­ans who identi­fy with or lean to­ward the two parties, us­ing res­ults from polls by the Pew Re­search Cen­ter for the People and the Press.

The Demo­crats’ demo­graph­ic trans­form­a­tion has left a co­ali­tion with much more con­sist­ently lib­er­al views on so­cial is­sues like gay rights and im­mig­ra­tion than in Bill Clin­ton’s era, while Re­pub­lic­ans, again, have changed more mod­estly. On guns, Demo­crat­ic at­ti­tudes have changed little, while the GOP has tilted dra­mat­ic­ally to­ward em­phas­iz­ing gun rights over gun con­trol. At­ti­tudes in both parties have warmed some­what to­ward free trade since the 1990s.

Contributions by Janie Boschma

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.