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