Tuesday, September 18, 2018

More Rustbelt Woes for GOP, Senate Bright Spots for Democrats

Polls from Wisconsin, Arizona and Tennessee continue to show dramatic Democratic overperformance among white college graduate voters and Republican underperformance among white noncollege voters.
A new Marquette University poll shows Democrat Tony Evers continuing to lead Scott Walker in the Wisconsin governor's race. Evers' 5 point lead among likely voters is built on a 16 point lead among white college voters, while holding Walker to a mere 5 point lead among white noncollege voters (Trump carried them by 19 points in 2016). The poll also provide the breakdown by education and gender, which is quite interesting. Evers' has an amazing 26 point lead among white college grad women (62-36) and is actually carrying white noncollege women by 2 points (48-46). The latter finding underscores a point I and others have made that white noncollege women are a very vulnerable part of the Trump coalition and could undermine GOP fortunes across the country.
We see the same white college/noncollege pattern in some positive results for Democrats from CNN polls of likely voters in the Arizona and Tennessee Senate races. In Arizona, Krysten Sinema (D) is leading Martha McSally (R) by 7 points, with a healthy 11 point lead among white college graduates and a relatively modest 18 point deficit among white noncollege voters (Trump carried them by 27 points in 2016). In Tennessee, Phil Bredesen (D) is leading Marsha Blackburn (R) by 5 points, with a 5 point lead among white college grads and a 17 point deficit among white noncollege voters. Both figures are truly massive improvements over Trump's 2016 dominance, where he carried both white college and noncollege voters by huge margins (35 and 56 points, respectively).
Of course, even if Democrats pull out both these Senate races, that doesn't mean they will actually take the Senate--many, many incumbent Democrats in red states are in tight races. But these results are surely good news, both for what they tell us about these particular races and about evolving fractures in the Trump coalition.
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Democrat Tony Evers saw a boost in support in a Tuesday poll that put him 5 points ahead of GOP Gov. Scott Walker a month after the two were tied.


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