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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: The White Noncollege Shift to Biden by Age

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

I have frequently noted here the large scale and political significance of the white noncollege shift toward Biden relative to Trump’s performance in 2016. It’s an interesting question what parts of the white noncollege voting pool are responsible for this shift. One way to look at it is by age–is it younger or older white noncollege voters who are driving this shift?

I looked at this using the UCLA + Democracy Fund Nationscape survey data (which includes about 1800 likely white noncollege voters per week) since September 1 and comparing the white noncollege Trump-Biden vote by age to the Trump-Clinton white noncollege by age split from 2016, as estimated by the States of Change project.

What I found is quite eye-opening. At least by this comparison, the shifts we are seeing are by no means uniform across the white noncollege population.. Older white noncollege voters, especially seniors, are heavily driving the shift, while the shifts among younger white noncollege voters are much more modest.

white noncollege 18-29: +6 toward Biden
white noncollege 30-44: +3 toward Biden
white noncollege 45-64: +19 toward Biden
white noncollege 65+: +32 toward Biden

2 comments on “Teixeira: The White Noncollege Shift to Biden by Age

  1. Victor on

    How does this square with the notion that Biden’s coalition can continue?

    What is the reason for the differences by age? Are older citizens voting their interest in anti covid measures? Are younger ones voting their interests in restarting the economy?

    • Martin Lawford on

      I suspect that union membership, past or present, has something to do with it. Workers over 45 are the most likely to belong to unions. Of course, many people with college degrees such as teachers belong to unions so this is just a guess.


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