Angry white college graduates who hate President Donald Trump could turn the 2018 midterm elections into a bloodbath for Republicans, according to FiveThirtyEight celebrity pollster Nate Silver’s website.
Democrats face a number of handicaps, FiveThirtyEight writer David Wasserman, an editor for the Cook Political Report, writes. For one thing, voters in midterm elections are typically an older and whiter crowd — and older, whiter voters tend to vote Republican. Also, Latino turnout is usually lower in midterms and black voter turnout appears to be decreasing now that former President Barack Obama has left the political scene. (Latino and black voters tend to vote heavily Democratic.)
Nevertheless, Democrats have considerable reason to be hopeful because midterm elections usually reflect voter sentiment about the sitting president, and Trump is consistently polling very low. In addition, voters in midterm elections tend to be more college-educated than voters in presidential election years — and the 2018 election will have more college-educated voters than any previous electorate in the history of the United States.
FiveThirtyEight compares the 2018 midterms to the 2010 off-year election which was famously called the “Year of the Angry White Senior.”
White, college-educated voters chose Trump by a margin of three points, according to 2016 exit polls. By comparison, the same polls showed Trump winning among white voters without college degrees by a whopping 37 points.
Evidence suggests that white voters with college degrees are rejecting Trump in droves.
“The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal national survey found that whites with a college degree disapproved of Trump’s job performance 61 percent to 37 percent, with 51 percent strongly disapproving — a remarkable level of intensity for a group that he carried just 10 months ago,” FiveThirtyEight notes. “By comparison, non-college whites approved of Trump 56 percent to 38 percent, with only 27 percent disapproving strongly.”
“This leaves Republicans dangerously exposed,” the data-driven website also says. “Just as Obama’s legions of young supporters failed to show up at the polls for Democrats in 2010 and 2014, Trump’s base of whites without college degrees could leave the GOP stranded in 2018.”
White voters without college degrees — Trump’s dedicated base — may not show up in the midterm elections because Trump will not be on any ballots.
“And the challenge of motivating these voters — who are typically less likely to vote in midterms anyway — could be compounded by Trump’s perpetual bashing of congressional Republicans who are on the ballot,” FiveThirtyEight suggests.