Although new polling indicates Trump is enjoying a modest spike in support after the Republican National Convention, he experiences the opposite effect among white college-educated voters.
A CNN/ORC poll released Monday shows a significant divide among this traditionally Republican voting bloc. Among college-educated white voters, Clinton actually improves her standing: initially split with Trump 40-40 before the convention, she now pulls ahead with a 44 to 39 percent lead after the RNC.
The opposite happened among white voters who lack college degrees. Trump’s 20 percent advantage in this demographic before the convention has grown to 39 percentage points after the RNC.
Post-RNC polling by Morning Consult likewise echoes the Clinton-Trump education disparity among voters of all races. Pre-convention, Trump barely edged past Clinton by three percentage points among the non-college educated. Post-convention, he surges past her by ten percentage points.
The split in educated voters among the two candidates may not be altogether surprising, as Donald Trump Jr.’s speech at the RNC emphasized Trump’s appeal to blue-collar workers even going so far as to knock those who went to college (despite he himself being a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, one of the most prestigious business schools in the world).
“Many of the top executives in our company are individuals that started out in positions that were blue collar. … [My father’s] true gift as a leader is that he sees the potential in people that they don’t see in themselves,” Trump Jr. said. “Potential that other executives would overlook because their resumes don’t include the names of fancy colleges and degrees. We didn’t learn from MBAs, we learned from people who had doctorates in common sense.”
The education disparity signals trouble for Trump, as white college-educated voters not only comprises one-third of the electorate, but have traditionally voted Republican since 1952. In 2012, Mitt Romney won this demographic by 14 points. George W. Bush, the last successful Republican candidate, soundly won this constituency by 5 percentage points in 2004.