This chart, or some version thereof, should be laminated and kept in the wallets of senior officials in both major political parties.
In 2015, according to the Census Bureau, 17.7 percent of people in the United States were Hispanic and 14.9 percent were 65 or older. By 2060, 28.6 percent of the country will be Hispanic and 23.6 percent 65 or older -- increases of about 60 percent apiece. Political parties need to win campaigns today, but they need to think ahead to a few years down the road, too. And the picture down the road is an older population that's more diverse.
After 2012, as everyone on the planet knows by now, the Republican Party put together a plan aimed at increasing its support from Hispanic voters, after Mitt Romney did worse with the group than John McCain had in 2008 -- and McCain himself had done worse than George W. Bush in 2004. The idea was to shift fortunes with Hispanic voters before 2016 to reverse that trend.
And then Donald Trump won the nomination.
A new survey from Univision released on Thursday shows that nearly three-quarters of Hispanics in the United States not only dislike Donald Trump, but actively think he is a racist.
That poll comes a day after a survey from the AP and a group called GenForward, which asked the same question of people aged 18 to 30. More than half of those in every racial and ethnic group said they thought he was -- including more than three-quarters of those who were black, Hispanic or Asian.
So far, this opinion of Trump hasn't done much to damage his poll numbers with Hispanics (though his poll numbers among black voters have some holes). Trump's position in polling overall has been sustained largely by white voters, to whom he often makes direct, unsubtle overtures.
The question that follows, though, is what happens as we start to climb the curves in that first chart. Older voters these days vote heavily Republican, but that hasn't always been the case: In 1992, people aged 65 and over backed Clinton more heavily than those aged 50 to 64. It isn't guaranteed to be the case in the future, either. By 2060, the last year on the chart, there will be a lot of people aged 65 and older -- including all of those 18-year-olds who this year were adamant supporters of the liberal policies of Bernie Sanders.
So imagine that you're RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, worried about getting past this 2016 election and keeping one eye on, say, 2055, about 40 years out. In 2055, over a quarter of the country will be Hispanic. More than a fifth of the country will be 65 or over, including all of the people aged 25 to 30 who told the AP that they think the Republican nominee this year is racist.
Earlier in the campaign, we noted that Trump's unpopularity with Hispanic voters didn't seem to be infecting the rest of the party. That was in August. In the new Univision poll, 71 percent of Hispanics express a positive perception of the Democratic Party -- but 64 percent have an unfavorable perception of the GOP. A February Post-Univision poll found that there was still a firewall, with only a fifth of Hispanics saying they thought Trump's opinions represented the views of the party. It's not clear if that's still the case. It's clear, though, that Trump isn't making things better.
Priebus doesn't really have to worry about 2060, of course. But someone does. In 2014, the New York Times reported on how year of birth affects long-term political views. Once you set where you are, your partisan identity often doesn't change that much.
Lots of us -- including, presumably, Priebus and Trump -- won't be around in 2060. But what's happening with American politics now may shape what politics looks like then.