America has become two nations of roughly equal size. Hence: polarization.
“The culturally cohesive America of the 1950s that some of us remember, usually glossing over racial segregation and the civil-rights movement, is no longer with us and hasn’t been for some time.”
“There are plenty of smart and creative and successful people in both Americas. But they don’t like to mix with each other these days.”
“One America tends to be traditionally religious, personally charitable, appreciative of entrepreneurs, and suspicious of government.”
“The other tends to be secular or only mildly religious, less charitable, skeptical of business, and supportive of government as an instrument to advance liberal causes.”
The roughly equal size of the two Americas means neither side can keep unilateral power very long. All one side has to do is slice off a couple percent and the results reverse. The Bushes pere et fils (plus Jeb and younger GP Bush) appealed to Hispanics. They sliced about 10% off the usual Democratic preference. And they won three out of four national elections on that strength.
Next time the GOP only has to slice off a piece of the Dem coalition and they can win.