As college grads flee the GOP, political ‘diploma divide’ grows

Four years ago, Donald Trump’s path to the White House ran through Rust Belt states with higher-than-average numbers of white voters without college degrees. 

That strategy paid off, seeding a narrative of a working-class revolt from the right led by a billionaire Republican, who is seeking to turn out those voters again on Nov. 3.  

But what also happened in 2016 now looks arguably more significant: College-educated voters, who once leaned Republican, swung hard to the Democrats, including voters in suburban districts who then helped flip the House of Representatives in 2018.

The polarization among white voters by educational levels has since grown wider, putting more pressure on Republicans to turn out non-college-educated white voters, a demographic that is shrinking within an increasingly diverse and educated electorate. To gain a second term, President Trump likely needs to get even more of these voters to the polls, as well as win

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