Friday, November 29, 2019

White Voters, The Rustbelt Blue Wall States and 2020

It's fair to say that the three Blue Wall states Donald Trump carried in the Rustbelt--Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin--plus Minnesota, which he almost carried, will be the central to the outcome in 2020. It's also fair to say that the behavior of the white electorates in these states--80-85 percent of eligible voters--will be central to individual outcomes in these states.
So: here are some facts to keep in mind when thinking about the Democratic nominee and Democratic strategy in these states.
1. In 2018, Democratic victories in these states were overwhelmingly driven by shifts among white voters away from 2016 support of Trump. There were pro-Democratic shifts of 15 points in 2018 Senate elections, 13 points in 2018 gubernatorial elections and 9 points in 2018 House elections.
2. These shifts were a great deal larger than shifts toward the Democrats among nonwhite voters which tended to be in the low single digits.
3. Pro-Democratic shifts were substantial among white noncollege voters, 13 points in 2018 Senate elections, 11 points in 2018 gubernatorial elections and 5 points in 2018 House elections. Shifts were even larger among white college voters, though they were a smaller proportion of white voters (around a third).
4. Most nonvoters in these states are white--around three-quarters--and, of these white nonvoters, around three-quarters are noncollege. So the white noncollege demographic figures very heavily in the nonvoter, as well as the voter, pool.
5. Pro-Democratic 2018 Shifts among white voters in these states were largest in suburban and rural areas, with shifts in rural areas actually slightly larger.
6. Trump's approval rating among noncollege white women stands at just 42% in Michigan, 43% in Wisconsin and 46% in Pennsylvania.

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