The weakening of Trump’s base of support can be profoundly seen in the departure of Rust Belt white college educated voters away from the president. White college educated voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are all turning away from Trump.
CNN reported on state data provided by Gallup:
The most striking trend is the erosion of Trump’s standing among college-educated white voters. Many of these voters have been ambivalent about Trump from the outset. In the general election he carried only 48% of them, down sharply from Mitt Romney’s 56% in 2012. Yet, aided by widespread doubts about Clinton among these voters, Trump still bested her with them in nine of these 13 states while tying her in another (Pennsylvania).
But in the Gallup results, Trump’s approval rating among college-educated whites has declined relative to his 2016 vote in all 13 states. In seven of those states, his approval rating stands at least 10 points lower than his vote –a list topped by North Carolina and Florida (both 19 points lower), Georgia (18 points lower), Ohio (15 points), Virginia (12 points), and Michigan and Minnesota (11 points each.) His approval rating among these white-collar whites reaches above 50% only in Texas and Georgia, and exceeds 45% in just two other states, Nevada and Arizona. In seven states, his approval among these well-educated white voters has tumbled to 40 percent or less. (That includes four states essential to his victory: North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.)
The data reveals that Trump won, not on the strength of any support, but because of the doubts that Republicans and the Russians were able to put in the minds of voters about Hillary Clinton. When the Clinton factor is removed, and Trump is forced to stand on his own, he is the least popular political figure in the history public opinion polling.
Trump and his White House have been making blatant appeals to white college educated voters in these states. Trump and the White House thought the transgender military ban was a great idea. Trump’s support for RAISE Act immigration crackdown was supposed to be an appeal to these voters. It didn’t. As the President is losing college educated whites in the Rust Belt, he is also dipping with non-college educated whites in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Trump won the White House by 78,000 votes in three states, but in all three of the states, his support among non-college educated whites has dropped 7-10 points.
We are watching the wheels come off of a presidency that was held together with tweets, Russian election attacks, and duct tape.
The Rust Belt is leaving Trump, and if this trend continues, he’ll be a dead president walking by 2020.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association