Profile of the American Voter

Update: this turned out to be off-base. Trump won college-educated white voters, especially men. Turnout was not necessarily a crucial factor, as more people voted than in 2012, except in Pennsylvania and possibly Wisconsin. The “up-for-grabs” educated white voters who usually voted Republican stayed loyal to the party. 

Blame Trump’s Victory on College-Educated Whites, Not the Working …

https://newrepublic.com/…/blame-trumps-victory-collegeeducatedwhites-not-workin…

Nov 15, 2016 – The average Trump voter is not poorly educated or unemployed, nor does … white men and college educated white women voted for Trump by …

Why Did College-Educated White Women Vote for Trump?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/…/donald-trumps-america-pennsylvania-women.htm…

Nov 10, 2016 – Clinton also lost white women by three crucial points in Pennsylvania. The Frables help explain why. The three women are collegeeducated or …

The Atlantic, Women Aren’t Responsible for Clinton’s Defeat: Clinton still managed to win 51 percent of college-educated white women to Trump’s 45 percent—a partisan reversal from the 2012 election when then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 52 percent of college-educated white women while Barack Obama won 46 percent. Clinton lost non-college-educated white women, winning only 34 percent to Trump’s 62 percent…According to Pew Research data, most women identify as Democrats, but white women are more likely than not to identify as Republican. That suggests that white women did not abandon Clinton, since many were likely to vote for the Republican candidate regardless of who ended up as the nominee for either party…The fact that she won college-educated white women while losing white women without a college degree suggests that her campaign had more success winning over Republican-leaning women who fit a similar demographic profile to the candidate herself: white, highly-educated, and affluent.

White and wealthy voters gave victory to Donald Trump, exit polls show

https://www.theguardian.com › US News › US elections 2016

Nov 9, 2016 – Most white voters of both sexes and almost all ages and education … Among non-collegeeducated whites, 67% voted for Trump – 72% of men …

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Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch …

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/trump-won-because-collegeeducated-americans-are…

Nov 9, 2016 – Trump won because collegeeducated Americans are out of touch … And while manywhite voters deeply disliked Trump, they disliked …

 

Here are some bullet points I offer my international students for covering the American election:

  • 27% of Americans 25 and older have college degrees.
  • However, about half of VOTERS are likely to have college degrees.
  • About five percent of Americans 25 and older had college degrees in 1940; it was 20% in 1980, and close to 30% in 2009. It has declined since 2009, which might explain some of the political frustration and anger.
  • About half of eligible voters tend not to vote.
  • College is increasingly unaffordable; students who aren’t likely to go to college could once get good-paying manufacturing jobs. That is no longer the case.
  • 50% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved, and worry a lot about their finances.
  • The US economy experienced a severe recession between 2008 and 2012. Much wealth was lost. Family incomes and employment levels have only this year returned to what they were in 2007, leading to a lot of economic frustration.
  • The US economy is now growing faster and stronger than most countries in the world, but most Americans are only aware of the economic situation in America.
  • Only 15% of Americans have traveled outside North America. They don’t know much about the world beyond the US.
  • Turnout will be a crucial factor in who wins this election, which has been especially nasty and voters may feel there is no one to vote FOR, only against. Trump would benefit from lowered voter turnout. Clinton needs high voter turnout in swing states.
  • Will voters choose their fears, their disgust or their hopes? Deep fears of Trump may cause some voters to choose Clinton. Disgust with Clinton may cause other voters to choose Trump. Fewer votes express their hopes in what Clinton or Trump can do FOR the country or the world.

Base of Support

Clinton: Women, particularly college-educated older women; African Americans; Hispanic Americans. Muslims represent less than 2% of the American population, but are a significant voting block in Michigan and Minnesota, where there is a Muslim member of Congress, Keith Ellison.

Trump: White men, with and without college degrees, especially businessmen annoyed by taxes and government regulations; those involved in manufacturing (factories), who have seen flat wages, and are not doing as well economically as their fathers did. They have seen manufacturing plants closed and the jobs shipped to Mexico, India, China.

Up for Grabs: white men with college degrees; young people between the ages of 18 and 35 – will they actually vote or stay home? African Americans and Hispanics who voted twice for Obama but appear to be unenthusiastic about Hillary. Will they turn out?

Battleground Or Swing States

Each candidate is almost guaranteed to win 20 states if historic trends and state polls are accurate. Among the current swing states are Arizona, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. You can follow daily tracking polls for the states at www.FiveThirtyEight.com

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