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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Realignment of College-Educated Whites Underway?

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

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.

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One comment on “Teixeira: Realignment of College-Educated Whites Underway?

  1. Tanya Melich on

    Dear Ruy,
    Warren Mitofsky, the father of exit polls, was a friend of mine. Over the years as smart phones became ubiquitous and the sampling of exit poll participants had to be restructured for correct sampling, I argued with him that college educated women voters did not like answering polls and that he would have a difficult time capturing their true voting patterns.(This attitude had to do with the growing concern about privacy.) I’m glad to see that the new analysis proves what we all suspected that the exit polls were NOT correct related to college-educated whites, particularly women. Thanks for States of Change information.


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