Buried in the latest Pew report was an extraordinary finding from their study of validated voters in the 2016 election. As you may recall, the exit polls had Trump carrying college-educated whites by 3 points. This was puzzling to many of us since polls prior to the election had been regularly showing Clinton carrying this group by 15-20 points.
Subsequent analysis from the States of Change project strongly indicated that Clinton carried white college voters in the 2016 election, not Trump. Our estimate was that Clinton won this group by around 7 points. Now we have this Pew study based on verified voters that puts Clinton’s margin over Trump among this group at 17 points. 17 points! That’s impressive and indicates that the pre-election polls were in the right ballpark on the white college grad vote and that this group may have crossed over from being a swing group to a solid Democratic one. I might add that this is entirely consistent with the polling and other data we are seeing in the run-up to the 2018 election.