Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Ineluctable Centrality of the White Noncollege Vote

I've been a bit puzzled lately with the apparent lack of interest by Democrats in the white noncollege vote. There didn't seem to be much of an attempt at the convention to highlight such voters who might be coming over to the Democrats' side (see the article below which summarizes the optics of the convention).

This would be easier to understand if there weren't such voters. But there are! Indeed, my analysis of high quality August polls where appropriate crosstabs are available indicates that Biden is running 10 margin points better than Clinton among white noncollege voters compared to 6 points better among white college voters. The difference in favor of white noncollege voters is even larger in my analysis of the ongoing Nationscape survey. Add in the fact that white noncollege voters are about 40 percent larger as a group than white college voters (more in heavily white noncollege states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) and it's clear that the single largest contributor to Biden's wider margin over Trump relative to Clinton is his superior performance among white noncollege voters.

Yet these voters rated hardly a mention. Perhaps it is assumed that such voters are so mad at Trump because of COVID, the economy and his broken promises that they are securely locked down and the only remaining task is to assure robust turnout among Democratic-leaning constituencies. I wouldn't assume that especially since you know exactly which voters Trump's going to go after. If he's successful Biden's wide lead could narrow very quickly.

That would be bad. When your opponent's on the floor, the best strategy is to keep him there rather than let him get up and wield his greatest weapon against you once again.

The hand-wringing after the 2016 election and the caution of 2018’s races were not visible during the Democratic National Convention this week.

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