Monday, July 8, 2024

Are Republicans Or Democrats More Educated

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Where Do We Go From Here Democrats Benchmarks And The Way Forward

Not only are there particularly large shares of non-college voters in these key states, but Democrats underperformed their national numbers with non-college voters in these states in 2020. This is likely because the non-college populations in nearly all of these states are whiter than the national non-college-educated population.

While Democrats current numbers and trajectory with non-college voters raise warning flags, some Democrats have shown in just the past two election cycles how to hit the necessary benchmarks with non-college voters to pull off victories nationallyand in the toughest swing states.

In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona, Biden hit benchmarks with non-college voters that, combined with his strong performance with college-educated voters, were enough to hand him victories. While he did not win majorities with non-college voters, he won a large enough share to win statewide. In these states, Democrats need to maintain their current standing and ensure that they do not slip further with non-white non-college voters or fall further behind with white non-college voters in the midterms and beyond.

The table below includes benchmarks that Democrats need to hit with non-college voters in key Senate race states for 2022, if they manage to hold Bidens 2020 performance with college-educated voters constant.

Gender Gaps Have Grown Under Biden Trump

Gender gaps in early presidential approval ratings have grown since the Clinton presidency, with both Biden and Trump showing double-digit differences in ratings among men and women. Obama and Bush had gender gaps just below 10 points, while Clinton had a very small gender gap of three points.

Biden’s job approval rating is higher among women than among men, and Trump was rated better by men than women. Notably, the two have had nearly identical approval ratings among men at the same stage in their presidencies, but vastly different ratings among women.

56 3
Figures are based on average approval ratings in polls conducted from Jan. 20-March 31 in the year of the president’s inauguration.

Women have consistently been a Democratic-leaning group in their party affiliation, though the margin in favor of the Democratic Party has fluctuated: It was 19 points in early 1993, 10 points in 2001, 21 points in 2009 and 15 points in 2017, and is 22 points today.

Men’s party preferences have been more variable, with the group tilting Republican in 2001 and 2021, tilting Democratic in 1993 and 2009, and evenly divided in 2017.

The larger gender gap in Biden’s approval seems to be driven mostly by the widening gap in party preferences of men versus women. Currently, 28 points separate the net party preferences of men and women , compared with 13- to 18-point gender gaps in party preferences for the prior four presidents.

Midterms Reveal That More Educated Americans Are Fleeing The Republican Party

The midterm elections showed that college-educated voters are fleeing the Republican Party and casting ballots for Democratic candidates, to The Wall Street Journal.

Democrats had gained control of 33 formerly Republican house seats as of Friday, with other races too close to call.

Twenty-eight of the 33 flipped seats “are in the top half among all House districts for educational attainment, meaning more than 30% of adults there have bachelor’s or more-advanced degrees,” the Journal reported.

The Democratic Party now controls 90 percent of the 30 House districts with the highest proportions of college-educated people. Going into the midterm elections, Democrats only held two-thirds of these seats.

Democrats have accumulated control over the most educated 30 districts over the last quarter century. Republicans and Democrats evenly split these seats when Bill Clinton took office.

Even in 2016, Republicans still maintained control of 10 of these seats.

Midterm voting revealed some other notable demographic shifts. Democratic support from college-educated white women increased eight percent from 2016, to The Washington Post, which cited Cooperative Congressional Election Study data and a voter model to estimate patterns for the 2018 contests.

While, overall, college-educated voters selected Democratic voters, white college-educated voters did so by a smaller margin.

Fifty-three percent of white college-educated voters selected Democratic House candidates.

News Media Doesnt Help

You might think that people who regularly read the news are more informed about their political opponents. In fact, the opposite is the case. We found that the more news people consumed, the larger their Perception Gap. People who said they read the news most of the time were nearly three times more distorted in their perceptions than those who said they read the news only now and then. We cant prove that one causes the other, but these results suggest that rather than making Americans better informed, media coverage is now feeding our misperceptions.

What The Exit Polls Are Telling Us

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Editors Note: Jennifer Lawless and Paul Freedman wrote this piece as part of the University of Virginia Democracy Initiatives effort to provide context around the 2020 presidential election. Scholars from across the University are providing real-time analysis on this page tracking the 2020 election and its aftermath. This post was published in two parts on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday morning, former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to win the election, becoming president-elect. Lawless is the Commonwealth Professor of Politics and chair of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, as well as a senior fellow at UVAs Miller Center. Freedman is an associate professor of politics and teaches courses in media, campaigns and elections, research methods, and the politics of food.


In the immediate aftermath of a national election, exit polls offer the best glimpse of what the electorate looked like who voted for whom and what seemed to drive their choices.

Us Senators And House Members Are Smarter Than You Think

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. Mark Twain

“Congress’s Average I.Q. Expected to Rise in 2015” The Borowitz Report

In a recent USA Today poll, roughly half of responders said we should replace everyone in Congress. Twains quote and Andy Borowitz’s humor column for The New Yorker suggest the view that Congress members are not very bright is an old and popular belief.

Although there have been research studies examining whether liberal and conservative voters differ in brainpower level, there have been no studies looking at Congress. Until now.

In one of my research papers published earlier this year, Investigating Americas Elite: Cognitive Ability, Education, and Sex Differences, I examined the brainpower levels of multiple groups who hold influence in American society: Fortune 500 CEOs, billionaires, federal judges, Senators, and House members.

Individuals were deemed to be in the top one percent of ability if they attended an undergraduate or graduate school that had extremely high average standardized test scores that put the average person in the top one percent . Researchers have determined that standardized tests, such as the and , are good measures of general intelligence, or g. For more detail on the method used, including its limitations, please read the paper, published in the journal Intelligence.

But what happens when we examine Republicans and Democrats?


Republicans Are Becoming The Poorly Educated Party

Reprinted with permission from

There are several key attributes that define the Republican Party in its modern incarnation: its overwhelming whiteness; its self-reported religiosity; its slavish devotion to a man who boasts he could shoot someone and not lose a single vote, thus proving his point. Moving forward, that list should probably also include as a distinguishing factor the fact that the party is less educated than its Democratic political rivals, and growing increasingly more so.

Thats according to a study released earlier this month by the Pew Research Center. The polling organization now finds the widest educational gap in partisan identification and leaning seen at any point in more than two decades between Republicans and Democrats. In 1994, the majority of U.S. residents with four-year college degrees leaned or identified as Republican, at 54 percent; just 39 percent of college graduates leaned or identified as Democrats. As of 2017, those numbers have switched exactly, with the majority of college degree holders now leaning Dem-ward.

Pew notes that white voters continue to be somewhat more likely to affiliate with or lean toward the Republican Party than the Democratic Party .


Percent Of Representatives Have A Degree Look Where Thats Got Us

All these credentials havent led to better results.

Opinion Columnist

Over the last few decades, Congress has diversified in important ways. It has gotten less white, less male, less straight all positive developments. But as I was staring at one of the many recent Senate hearings, filled with the usual magisterial blustering and self-important yada yada, it dawned on me that theres a way that Congress has moved in a wrong direction, and become quite brazenly unrepresentative.

No, its not that the place seethes with millionaires, though theres that problem too.

Its that members of Congress are credentialed out the wazoo. An astonishing number have a small kite of extra initials fluttering after their names.

According to the Congressional Research Service, more than one third of the House and more than half the Senate have law degrees. Roughly a fifth of senators and representatives have their masters. Four senators and 21 House members have M.D.s, and an identical number in each body have some kind of doctoral degree, whether its a Ph.D., a D.Phil., an Ed.D., or a D. Min.

But perhaps most fundamentally, 95 percent of todays House members and 100 percent of the Senates have a bachelors degree or higher.Yet just a bit more than one-third of Americans do.

This means that the credentialed few govern the uncredentialed many, writes the political philosopher Michael J. Sandel in The Tyranny of Merit, published this fall.

History Of The Republican Party

The Republican Party came into existence just prior to the Civil War due to their long-time stance in favor of abolition of slavery. They were a small third-party who nominated John C. Freemont for President in 1856. In 1860 they became an established political party when their nominee Abraham Lincoln was elected as President of the United States. Lincolns Presidency throughout the war, including his policies to end slavery for good helped solidify the Republican Party as a major force in American politics. The elephant was chosen as their symbol in 1874 based on a cartoon in Harpers Weekly that depicted the new party as an elephant.

Two Ways To Read The Story

  • Quick Read

Growing up in a conservative white household outside Atlanta, Brendon Pace says he always thought of himself as a Republican. But after attending college and starting medical school in Virginia, he became unhappy with the GOP under President Donald Trump, and recently cast a ballot for Joe Biden. Maybe someday hell vote Republican again, he says but for now, theyve definitely lost me.

The diploma divide in U.S. politics predates Mr. Trump. But like many partisan fault lines, from gender to religion, it has gaped wider under his presidency, sending into hyperdrive a decadeslong realignment of the Democratic and Republican parties.

The More Educated A Democrat

Interesting since so many Democrats claim they are better educated than GOP voters or Trump supporters and pretend that means their views are correct.This much we might guess. But whats startling is the further finding that higher education does not improve a persons perceptions and sometimes even hurts it. In their survey answers, highly educated Republicans were no more accurate in their ideas about Democratic opinion than poorly educated Republicans. For Democrats, the education effect was even worse: the more educated a Democrat is, according to the study, the less he or she understands the Republican worldview.

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty

DP Veteran

Interesting since so many Democrats claim they are better educated than GOP voters or Trump supporters and pretend that means their views are correct.This much we might guess. But whats startling is the further finding that higher education does not improve a persons perceptions and sometimes even hurts it. In their survey answers, highly educated Republicans were no more accurate in their ideas about Democratic opinion than poorly educated Republicans. For Democrats, the education effect was even worse: the more educated a Democrat is, according to the study, the less he or she understands the Republican worldview.

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty

DP Veteran

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty

DP Veteran

As Americans Become More Educated The Gop Is Moving In The Opposite Direction

Americans are pursuing higher education at growing rates, but those without a college education are increasingly finding a home in the GOP.

According to new released by the Pew Research Center, higher educational attainment is increasingly associated with Democratic Party affiliation and leaning:

In 1994, 39% of those with a four-year college degree identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party and 54% associated with the Republican Party. In 2017, those figures were exactly reversed.

More than half of registered voters who identify as Democrat have a bachelor’s degree, while fewer than 4 in 10 registered voters who identify as Republican have a bachelor’s degree.

Those with graduate degrees are even more likely to find their political home in the Democratic Party, according to the survey:

In 1994, those with at least some postgraduate experience were evenly split between the Democratic and Republican parties. Today, the Democratic Party enjoys a roughly two-to-one advantage in leaned partisan identification. While some of this shift took place a decade ago, postgraduate voters affiliation with and leaning to the Democratic Party have grown substantially just over the past few years, from 55% in 2015 to 63% in 2017.

Meanwhile, the GOP has increasingly become more of a political destination to Americans who lack a college degree, according to Pew:

This may not bode well for the GOP long-term as the American public becomes increasingly educated.

Cultural Views Override Economic Arguments

Who is more educated as a majority, Democrats or ...

Matt Grossman, who heads the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, said he believed Democrats in 2020 were smart to adopt a class-based message after Clinton didn’t. Historically, voters respond favorably to the idea of Democrats representing the middle class, he said, and negatively to Republicans as the party for the rich and big business. 

“But I think we should learn from the 2020 election that Biden at least made some effort to do that and it doesn’t seem to have made much difference,” Grossman said. “So maybe messaging is not enough to move the needle on these broad social changes.”

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The fact Biden struggled with non-college-educated white voters, according to Grossman, reflects the overall shift toward politics based on social and cultural divisions rather than economic. The same trend is found in European nations. 

With his cultural not economic  brand of populism, Trump fanned fears about racial equity protests that erupted in cities. He pushed for “law and order” during the campaign, slammed the Black Lives Matter movement and accused Democrats of being soft on violence and anti-police. He warned that Biden would turn the USA into a “socialist” country and accused the Democrat of wanting to take away Americans’ guns. Trump even said, “There will be no God” if Biden was elected.

Energy Issues And The Environment

There have always been clashes between the parties on the issues of energy and the environment. Democrats believe in restricting drilling for oil or other avenues of fossil fuels to protect the environment while Republicans favor expanded drilling to produce more energy at a lower cost to consumers. Democrats will push and support with tax dollars alternative energy solutions while the Republicans favor allowing the market to decide which forms of energy are practical.

What These Shifts Mean For Future Elections

The exit polls and results from this years presidential election paint a somewhat different picture than the previous two races. After Obamas second victory in 2012, Democrats were touting a voter constituency made up of young people, diverse voters, and college-educated whites that they felt would provide them solid support for several elections to come. It even prompted Republicans to issue an urging the inclusion of a wider voter base. Yet after Trumps 2016 victory with strong support from older, less urban, and noncollege whites, many Republicans stayed onboard their earlier train.

In retrospect, it seems that both the 2012 Obama coalition and the 2016 Trump coalition overperformed in those elections. The 2020 results suggest neither party can rely solely on those particular sets of voters. As I have , there is no doubt that changing demographicsespecially rising diversityshould benefit Democrats in the long run .

But in the interim, the results of the 2020 election make plain that both parties need to address the interests of a coalition made up of all of these groups. The Trump presidency did not do thisperhaps a Biden presidency can.

Diagnosing The Problem Nationally

National exit poll data over the past few cycles paint the clearest picture of Democrats declines with non-college voters. Under Barack Obama, Democrats won this group in both 2008 and 2012. But while Obama won non-college graduates 51-47% in 2012, Clinton lost these voters 44-52% in 2016. In 2020, Biden split the difference with a narrow 48-50% loss.

Looking at non-college voters by race, it appears at first glance that Democrats only problem is with white non-college voters. Clinton lost white non-college voters by a whopping 37 points, and Biden lost them by a similar 35 points. And this margin does not account for the high turnout among white non-college voters that propelled Trumps margins.

But Democrats problems are not exclusively with white non-college voters. While Biden won non-white voters without a college degree by 46 points, the trend with these voters is not in Democrats favor. From 2016 to 2020, Trump increased his support with non-white non-college voters from 20% to 25%. While this may not look like a large share, because of the centrality of non-white voters to Democrats coalition, any slippage with this group does not bode well for future elections and requires attention.

Biden Party Gaps Nearly 10 Points Higher Than Trump’s; 30 Points Above Others’

An average of 86 percentage points have separated Democrats’ and Republicans’ ratings of Biden so far, eclipsing the 77-point gap in the early ratings of Trump. This difference results from Biden’s higher scores among his fellow partisans than Trump received . Each got the same low 10% approval ratings from supporters of the opposition party.

Party gaps in approval ratings were about 30 points lower for Obama, Bush and Clinton than they have been for Biden. This is primarily because about one-third of opposition-party supporters approved of the job those presidents were doing early in their terms.

But Biden’s approval rating among his fellow Democrats is also higher than those for Obama and Clinton among Democrats, and for Bush among his fellow Republicans .

28 50
Figures are based on average approval ratings in polls conducted from Jan. 20-March 31 in the year of the president’s inauguration.

Independents’ 55% approval of Biden during his inaugural period is similar to their ratings of Clinton and Bush, slightly lower than for Obama , but well above the group’s rating of Trump .

Now That The Fda Has Granted Full Approval To The Covid

more >Victor Morton

When it comes to education, the parties have switched places over the past two decades.

According to a Pew Research Center released this week, Democrats are now the party of college graduates, especially those with post-graduate work. Meanwhile, people with a high-school degree or less, by far the larger group, slightly lean toward Republicans.

Both preferences are the reverse of what they were in the 1990s.

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According to Pew, 54 percent of college graduates either identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, compared to 39 percent who identified or leaned Republican. One-third of Americans have a college degree.

Just 25 years ago, those numbers were perfectly reversed in the Pew survey, with the GOP holding a 54-39 advantage among people with college degrees.

The discrepancy becomes even greater when Pew distilled the sample down to people who have post-graduate education at least some work toward a masters, doctorate, law or similar degree. In that group, Democrats had a 2-to-1 edge, by 63 percent to 31 percent. In 1994, the two parties were almost evenly divided, with the Democratic lead just 47-45.

While some of this shift took place a decade ago, postgraduate voters affiliation with and leaning to the Democratic Party have grown substantially just over the past few years, from 55% in 2015 to 63% in 2017, Pew wrote.

More Highly Educated Adults Have Consistently Liberal Views

As Pew Research Centers 2014 report on political polarization found, the share of the overall public that is ideologically consistent that is, the share that takes either consistently liberal or consistently conservative positions opinions across the 10 values is relatively modest, but has grown substantially over time, especially over the past decade.

In the new study, nearly a quarter of Americans have either consistently liberal or consistently conservative views . In 2004, just 11% were either consistently liberal or consistently conservative .

Much of the growth in ideological consistency has come among better educated adults including a striking rise in the share who have across-the-board liberal views, which is consistent with the .

Currently, about a third of those with postgraduate experience give down-the-line liberal responses across the 10 items, up from 19% in 2004 and just 7% in 1994. Among college graduates with no postgraduate experience, 24% have consistently liberal values, compared with 13% in 2004 and 5% a decade earlier.

Among postgrads and college graduates, the shares expressing consistently conservative views also have grown since 2004, from 4% to 10% among postgrads and from 4% to 11% among college graduates. But among both groups, consistently conservative views are at the about the same levels as they had been in 1994.

Overall Us Jews Remain Largely Democratic And Liberal

U.S. Jews are still a largely Democratic and politically liberal group today, as they have been for decades. Overall, about seven-in-ten identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, including 68% of Jews by religion and 77% of Jews of no religion. Just 26% of U.S. Jews overall identify with the Republican Party or lean toward the GOP.

Jews by religion are considerably more likely than U.S. Christians to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party; they look much more similar to religiously unaffiliated Americans in this regard, with Democrats making up about two-thirds of each group. Among Christian subgroups, only Black Protestants show higher levels of Democratic support .

Pew Research Center political surveys conducted over the past two decades show Jews have consistently identified with the Democratic Party over the GOP by a wide margin.

Furthermore, the new survey finds that 50% of Jews describe their political views as liberal, triple the share who say they are politically conservative . Jews of no religion a group that is considerably younger, on average, than Jews by religion are especially likely to call themselves liberal .

Whites Made Biden Competitive In Racially Diverse Sun Belt States

Republicans and Democrats Are Taking Early Education More ...

As the final votes were being counted, three Sun Belt states remained competitive between Biden and Trump: Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. While their final outcomes also depended on nonwhite racial groups, white voting blocs in these states shifted since 2016 in ways that benefitted Biden. See Figure 4 and .

Take Arizona. It is a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996. While rapidly diversifying, its older white population has leaned heavily toward Republicans. This time was different; white college graduate women and men flipped sharply toward Democrats, from 2016 Republican advantages of 2% and 12%, respectively, to 2020 Democratic advantages of 15% and 3%. Likewise, white noncollege men reduced their Republican support from 28% to 10%. In addition, Arizonas senior population flipped from Republican support to even Democratic-Republican support.

These shifts, as well as increased Democratic support among 18- to 29-year-olds and continued Democratic support from the states Latino or Hispanic voters, contributed to Bidens vote gains in Arizona.

Georgia, a longtime deep red Republican state, has been inching toward battleground status due to its large and growing Democratic-leaning Black population. Yet its strong white Republican margins have led to GOP presidential wins since 1996. This year, those white Republican margins were reduced enough to make the state competitive.

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