As climate change shifts species climatic envelopes across the landscape, equilibrium between geographic ranges and niches is likely diminishing due to time lags in demography and dispersal. If a species range and niche are out of equilibrium, then population performance should decrease from cool, leading range edges, where populations are expanding into recently ameliorated habitats, to warm, trailing range edges, where populations are contracting from newly unsuitable areas. Population contraction signals that compensatory changes in vital rates are insufficient to buffer population growth from deteriorating environments. Life history theory predicts tradeoffs between fast development, high reproduction, and short longevity at low latitudes and slow development, less frequent but multiple bouts of reproduction, and long lifespan at high latitudes. If demographic compensation is driven by life history evolution, compensatory negative correlations in vital rates may be associated with this fast-slow continuum. An outstanding question is whether range limits and range contractions reflect inadequate compensatory life history shifts along environmental gradients, causing population growth rates to fall below replacement levels at range edges. We surveyed demography of 32 populations of the scarlet monkeyflower (Erythranthe cardinalis) spanning 11 degrees latitude in western North America and used integral projection models to infer population dynamics and assess demographic compensation. Population growth rates decreased from north to south, consistent with leading-trailing dynamics. Southern populations are declining due to reduced survival, growth, and recruitment, despite compensatory increases in reproduction and faster life history characteristics, suggesting that demographic compensation will not rescue populations at the trailing range edge.