Changes in demographics in the scenic town of Bend, Oregon, illustrate a broader trend for the Republican Party: It’s taking a nosedive along the U.S. West Coast. Bend’s population has quadrupled in the past few decades, with many newcomers arriving in the Deschutes County seat from Seattle, Portland and California.
For the first time in memory, the number of registered Democrats in the county has eclipsed the number of Republicans. Members of the GOP are struggling to hold seats in Congress, statehouses and city councils up and down the West Coast. Experts cite demographic shifts like those in Bend, and the GOP’s tack further to the right.