What is the Tunnel Wall?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump’s Big Bet on Less Educated Whites

NY Times
A potential victory for Donald J. Trump may hinge on one important (and large) group of Americans: whites who did not attend college.
Polls have shown a deep division between whites of different education levels and economic circumstances. A lot rides on how large these groups will be on Election Day: All pollsters have their own assessment of who will show up, and their predictions rely on these evaluations.
Here’s what the American voting-age population looked like in 2012.

Voting-age population, in millions

White, no college
White, some college
White, college degree
Black
Hispanic
Other
0
10
20
30
40
50
The largest bloc is whites who have no college degree, and the voting-age population of this group is as large as that of voting-age blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans combined. Mitt Romney won this group over Barack Obama by 26 percentage points, and Ronald Reagan by 31 points in 1984. But Bill Clinton won this bloc of voters both times he ran. In this year’s political polls, this group favors Mr. Trump by large margins over Hillary Clinton.
White, no
college
degree
White,
college
degree
Black
Hispanic
Clinton
Trump
57
43
37
82
75
29
6
20
Education questions from Fox News poll, Oct. 26; Black and Hispanic from Economist/You Gov Poll, Nov. 1
However, the voting electorate — the people who actually go to the polls — could look substantially different from the voting-age population. Here’s how the population of actual voters broke down in the last presidential election. Only about half of whites with no college degree voted, leaving about 29 million votes on the table in an election decided by five million votes.

Voting-age population, in millions

Voted
Did not vote
White, no college
White, some college
White, college degree
Black
Hispanic
Other
0
10
20
30
40
50

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