McCarty and Lee in NY Times: "Red and Blue America Will Never Be the Same"

Aug. 9, 2022

Nolan McCarty and Frances Lee are both quoted in Thomas Edsall's discussion of demographic trends and predictions about election outcomes, "Red and Blue America Will Never Be the Same" in The New York Times.


The natural tilt of our single-member district system has shifted away from the Republicans as the rural vote moves toward the Republicans and the suburbs move toward the Democrats. But it is not clear what the aggregate effects of those shifts will be. It should help the House Democrats in November but it is not clear how much....Once such changes push states like Georgia, Texas and North Carolina sufficiently toward the Democrats, they would be the party with the structural advantage in the Electoral College and Senate.”

Nolan McCarty


Rather than claiming that the G.O.P. is becoming the party of the working class, what I see is a long-term trend away from a party system organized along class lines. Knowing that a person is wealthy (or low income) isn’t very predictive of what party that person will prefer. The parties are much better sorted by other factors — region, religion, race — than by social class....Trump’s candidacy and presidency accelerated pre-existing trends undercutting the class basis of the parties. For a Republican, Trump had unusual appeal to working-class voters and was unusually alienating to well-off suburbanites.

Frances Lee


Nolan McCarty is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, and a CSDP faculty associate, at Princeton University.

Frances Lee is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) at Princeton University.