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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: ‘You Live By the Sword, You Die By the Sword’ – Trump and White Noncollege Voters

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

Trump’s had a lot of bad polling news lately. But arguably the worst news of all for him is that he’s losing ground among white noncollege voters. This is despite clearly targeting his campaign toward getting more of these voters than he did in 2016 to make up for his overwhelming disadvantage among nonwhite voters and a widening gap with white college voters. But he’s not getting more of these voters, he’s getting less. This is catastrophic for his campaign if it continues.

This is a general pattern but it definitely applies to the three key Rustbelt states he has to win; Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. According to the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape survey (6000 cases a week, over 110,000 since the beginning of the year, 45,000 just since April 1), Trump’s lead against Biden among white noncollege voters in Michigan and Wisconsin is only in single digits and in Pennsylvania it is less than half of what it was in 2016.

I’m not the only one to notice this. Nate Cohn in his latest New York Times analysis notes that:

“The decline in the president’s standing has been particularly pronounced among white voters without a college degree, helping to explain why the Trump campaign has felt compelled to air advertisements in Ohio and Iowa, two mostly white working-class battleground states where Mr. Trump won by nearly 10 points four years ago.

In the most recent polls, white voters without a college degree back the president by 21 points, down from 31 points in March and April and down from the 29-point lead Mr. Trump held in the final polls of registered voters in 2016.

Mr. Trump didn’t just lose support to the undecided column; Mr. Biden ticked up to an average of 37 percent among white voters without a degree. The figure would be enough to assure Mr. Biden the presidency, given his considerable strength among white college graduates. In the most recent polls, white college graduates back Mr. Biden by a 20-point margin, up four points since the spring. It’s also an eight-point improvement for the Democratic nominee since 2016, and a 26-point improvement since 2012.”

Evan Scrimshaw at Decision Desk HQ sums up the situation for Trump succinctly:

“What Biden is doing is a very tricky double, essentially. He is marrying the anti-chaos reactions of many white voters, especially those with degrees, to an immense degree while holding Obama-esque shares of working class, non-degree whites. He is winning the voters who gave the Democrats the House by upwards of 25% per CNN while holding his losses with White Non-College voters to the high teens in both NBC/WSJ and CNN. That coalition – holding the overall white margin to a near tie while winning non-white voters – is the most efficient possible coalition in the US, and either means that the South is in play (if Southern Non-College whites are moving at all to Biden) or the Rust Belt is just moving to Biden at a rapid pace (if Southern Non-college whites are staying ruby red). Either way, Trump needs to fix this or he’s done.”

Yup. It ain’t over ’til it’s over but right now Trump is in a world of trouble. You live by the sword, you die by the sword…..

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