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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: The Ineluctable Centrality of the White Noncollege Vote

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

I’ve been a bit puzzled lately with the apparent lack of interest by Democrats in the white noncollege vote. There didn’t seem to be much of an attempt at the convention to highlight such voters who might be coming over to the Democrats’ side (see the Washington Post article, “Democrats embrace ‘who we are’ — women, people of color and young voters,” which summarizes the optics of the convention).

This would be easier to understand if there weren’t such voters. But there are! Indeed, my analysis of high quality August polls where appropriate crosstabs are available indicates that Biden is running 10 margin points better than Clinton among white noncollege voters compared to 6 points better among white college voters. The difference in favor of white noncollege voters is even larger in my analysis of the ongoing Nationscape survey. Add in the fact that white noncollege voters are about 40 percent larger as a group than white college voters (more in heavily white noncollege states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and it’s clear that the single largest contributor to Biden’s wider margin over Trump relative to Clinton is his superior performance among white noncollege voters.

Yet these voters rated hardly a mention. Perhaps it is assumed that such voters are so mad at Trump because of COVID, the economy and his broken promises that they are securely locked down and the only remaining task is to assure robust turnout among Democratic-leaning constituencies. I wouldn’t assume that especially since you know exactly which voters Trump’s going to go after. If he’s successful Biden’s wide lead could narrow very quickly.

That would be bad. When your opponent’s on the floor, the best strategy is to keep him there rather than let him get up and wield his greatest weapon against you once again.

5 comments on “Teixeira: The Ineluctable Centrality of the White Noncollege Vote

  1. Mark Masaoka on

    Biden’s team, like Hillary’s in 2016, wants to rely of what helped him win the Democratic primaries–Blacks and people of color, suburbanite college-educated and seniors. It will take not rhetoric, but actual positions that benefit workers and working families. Repeat promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $200K; talk about reducing Obamacare premiums for those who don’t qualify for subsidies and promote training and apprenticeships to prepare workers for infrastructure construction and operation;n.

  2. pjcamp on

    If anyone did that, the progressives would pop like balloons. They already think Biden is too Republican and are more than willing to tank the whole election if their purity is threatened. After all, who was the one who said voting for Biden was like eating half a bowl of shit? Such a person really does not care what impact her actions have on Biden’s election. Now add to that reaching out to people that the left considers 100% deplorable racists.

    What do you think would happen?


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