White voters are the backbone of Donald Trump’s political support, and significant groups of white voters are abandoning the president.
According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post Poll:
Notably, among other groups, Trump’s not significantly ahead of the Democratic candidates among whites – a group he won by 20 points in 2016. About nine in 10 blacks and roughly two-thirds of Hispanics back the Democrats, similar for these groups in recent presidential elections.
Instructive among whites are preferences by gender and education. Trump is solid among non-college-educated white men (+37 points against Biden, for example). That’s countered by the Democrats among college-educated white women, +35 points for Biden.
It’s the combination of college-educated white women and nonwhites that forms the Democratic constituency; a risk for the party is that in 2016, per the network exit poll, Hillary Clinton won college-educated white women by just 10 points, and Trump did better among non-college white women and college-educated white men than he’s polling today.
The groups that are fleeing Trump are college-educated white men and non-college educated white women. Trump has hollowed out his own base of support and winnowed it down to non-college educated white men, Republicans, and conservatives.
Biden trails Trump by just 3 points with college-educated white men. Biden also trails by just three points with non-college educated white women. Sanders and Warren both have similar numbers to slightly worse numbers than Biden in the poll.
Trump has fractured his own white base of support and specific subgroups of white voters are abandoning the president.
George W. Bush won reelection in 2004 by targeting suburban “soccer moms.” Republicans are already worried that Trump may have lost the suburbs a year before the 2020 election.
Trump has made the Republican Party smaller. The president will be able to count on his base in 2020, but there might be fewer voters in that group, as white people are increasingly done with Donald Trump.
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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