Republican — The Party for Lesser Educated Whites?

In presidential races, the Republican Party has long been dominated by white voters, whereas most non-whites cast their ballots for the Democratic candidate. This year things are different, however. It is no secret that Donald Trump has caused many Republicans to declare to pollsters that this year they will vote for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll of registered voters conducted by Langer Research Associates, on August 4, Hillary Clinton was shown leading Donald Trump by 45 to 37 percent with eight percent planning to vote for Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson and four percent for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Among men, Donald Trump leads 51 to 41 percent, while Hillary Clinton leads among women by a much wider margin, 58 to 35 percent.

The polling data become more interesting when one analyzes the white vote by educational level. Even college graduates have traditionally favored the Republican candidate, but not this year. Among white college graduates overall, Hillary Clinton leads by 50 to 44 percent. Among those whites with no college degree, Donald Trump leads 50 to 42 percent.

Breaking it down by gender, Trump leads among male white college grads 50 to 42 percent and among those with no college degree by a much larger 67 to 25 percent. Unsurprisingly, Hillary Clinton does much better among white women. She leads by a whopping 57 to 38 percent among college-educated women, but Trump leads a narrower 51 to 40 percent among women with no college degree.

 What the numbers show is that if you are white, you educational level and gender determine the likelihood of your voting for one candidate or another. The less education you have, the more likely you are to vote for Trump, although it must be said that Trump does still have a small lead among college-educated white men. Males of all educational levels still favor the Republican candidate, but college-educated males favor Trump by a smaller margin than this group has favored the Republican candidate in past presidential elections.

Is the Republican Party becoming the party of lesser-educated whites? It is too early to say. It certainly looks that way in this presidential cycle, but perhaps after the election is over and Donald Trump is safely defeated, more educated white voters will again vote in larger numbers for Republican candidates.

By the way, if you would like to look at the poll numbers in much more detail, they are available by clicking here.

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