It Is Educated Voters Who Are Making Politics More Polarized. “In this view, the strength of a voter’s identity as a Democrat or Republican drives political engagement more than personal gain. Better educated voters more readily form ‘identity centric’ political commitments to their party of choice, which goes a long way toward explaining the strength of liberal convictions among more affluent Democrats.”
In counties with far more than the national average of 29.8 percent of adults with bachelor’s degrees, Trump fared poorly. Of America’s one hundred most educated counties, he carried only nineteen — Romney had carried twenty-six in defeat and outpolled Trump in almost all of them by significant margins. Simply put, Americans who live their lives among a group of friends and neighbors with varied educational backgrounds preferred Trump more than Clinton or Romney, while college-educated Americans who live exclusively among other degree holders were less likely to support Trump, even if they were otherwise Republican.
Trump’s performance among college-educated voters who live in counties below the national average in education levels was right on the republican par — particularly in midsize and smaller counties in the Great Lakes swing states that determined the outcome of the election.
These voters did not face the kind of social pressure to oppose the lewd and coarse Trump that their college-educated peers did in the suburbs.
The enforced conformity of Democratic constituencies, from college-educated voters to black voters, is really amazing, and it’s something that I’d be looking for ways to break down if I were a GOP strategist.