The “Poorly Educated” Still Love Trump

Even though he lost Wisconsin on Tuesday, Donald Trump continued doing better in counties with the lowest shares of people with college degrees and worse in the most educated part of the state.


College education continues to play a significant role in Trump support, even in this much smaller field.

Cruz and Kasich the Perfect Final Two Opponents for Trump

Donald Trump is running away with the nomination because he has performed consistently across the country. He gets roughly the same percentage of the vote in deep red counties as he does in deep blue counties. Ted Cruz and John Kasich don’t. Cruz comes closest to Trump in counties where Obama got under 35% of the vote in 2012 and does much worse in counties Obama won.


Conversely, Kasich does more than three times better in counties where Obama got 65%+ than he does in counties Obama got less than 35%. Trump beats him everywhere.


Combined, Kasich and Cruz have done better than Trump both in places Obama won and lost.

obamasummary-3Unfortunately for the #NeverTrump crowd, Cruz and Kasich’s voters are so incompatible that if either one dropped, a good share their voters would support Trump.

Oh well. Better settle it in Cleveland.

Some 2016 Primary Charts

1st Place in GOP Primaries and Caucuses by County

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2nd Place in GOP Primaries and Caucuses by County

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Trump has finished 1st or 2nd in almost every county that has voted

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1st Place in Democratic Primaries and Caucuses by County

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In many states, a significant relationship exists between Trump’s vote in a county and the percentage of adults over 25 with at least an associates degree. The more educated the county, the worse Trump does. The chart below shows the relationship in states where it exists and that Trump won
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The relationship is weaker, or non existent, in states that Trump lost:

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In a few states that Trump won, his performance in a county was not impacted by how educated it is.

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Finally, the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have significantly outraised the Republicans in campaign hard money. The Republicans have raised far less money than both successful and unsuccessful Republican campaigns in the past even though individuals can give more money to campaigns than they could in the past.

Campaign Fundraising on 2/29 of Election Year 2000-2016 (in 2016$)

President Money

Scottish Independence Still Not at a Majority #indyref

Scottish First Minister declared today that the Scottish National Party (SNP) will lead a new drive for Independence in June of this year.

Despite winning 56 of 59 seats in Westminster last May and dominating polls for this year’s Scottish Parliament elections, support for Independence has stagnated since 44.5% of Scots voted “Yes” in September of 2014.


Nicola is right. Independence supporters still need to do a lot of work to convince the country that they are better off independent. For all the SNP’s success in the last 18 months, they have yet to do this.

Trump Loves the “Poorly Educated” and the “Poorly Educated” Love Him

Ron Brownstein at the Atlantic has written extensively about how those without a college degree back Trump and those with a college degree oppose him. The “poorly educated” as the GOP frontrunner affectionately (maybe) calls them. This split has been consistent in the exit polls. This divide also comes through looking at individual counties. Virginia has 133 cities and counties. A strong correlation exists (-.81) between Trump vote share and the percentage of people (25 year old and older) in the city/county with at least an Associates Degree.


A positive correlation (+.855) occurs between the share of Kasich and Rubio support and attaining a degree.


Trump picked the right demographic group to build a durable base on. Ted Cruz staked his on religiosity and ideology. That’s good to win Iowa and a few other states, but when the race moves to the northeast, west coast, or Rust Belt, the deeply religious and conservative simply don’t exist in the same numbers. People without a college degree though, make up significant shares of the electorate everywhere. It’s how Trump can win in Alabama and Massachusetts, especially with multiple candidates dividing up support of college graduates.

How Can Cruz & Rubio Beat Trump If They Are Losing to Him in Red and Blue Counties?

Republicans have come to vote in 1,061 counties over 13 states (Minnesota and Alaska have not reported by county). More than half have taken place in deep red counties where Obama got less than 35% in 2012.

2012 Obama Vote Number of Counties Share of the Total Vote
35% or less 553 41.3%
35% – 40% 110 9.3%
40% – 45% 98 12.0%
45% – 50% 80 9.9%
50% – 55% 53 7.3%
55% – 60% 65 10.4%
60% – 65% 42 6.0%
65%+ 60 3.8%

Trump has won in both strong Obama counties, strong Romney candidates, and everywhere in between. Ted Cruz does best in the deep red counties but still loses to Trump. He does worse where Obama did better.


Rubio does worst in the deep red counties. He does better than Cruz in the counties Obama won but still doesn’t beat Trump.


Kasich also does better in places Obama won.


Only the combination of Kasich and Rubio beats Trump, but only in the strong Obama counties. Trump beats them in the Romney counties. Good thing for Trump, Kasich plans to stay in the race so he and Rubio can divide support and Trump can win with support in the low 30s like he did in Virginia.


Any other candidate with the support Trump has in all parts of the country would be declared the nominee and the party would rally around him. Instead we get Willard Romney attacking him.

Best. Campaign. Ever.




Painting the GOP Primary Map

The GOP has held 15 contests to pick a nominee for President so far. They have taken place in all parts of the country and in more than 1,100 counties. The following shows the winner in each county that has reported (this leaves off Alaska and Minnesota which have not released county caucus results).

County Winner – GOP Primaries and Caucuses (as of 3/2/16)

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Whether you go by geographic size, or by statewide or delegate count. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have dominated this race. Donald Trump has won nearly every county east of Arkansas. Ted Cruz has dominated in Texas, Oklahoma, and central Iowa. Other than the Minnesota caucuses and in the Northern Virginia suburbs, Marco Rubio has hardly won anywhere. This hasn’t stopped him from a giving a “no one believed in us” speech after coming in third in Iowa or declaring future victory after losing 10 contests last night:

The pundits say we’re underdogs. I’ll accept that. We’ve all been underdogs. This is a community of underdogs. This is a state of underdogs. This is a country of underdogs. But we will win.

He was right that he is an underdog. Looking at the map of who came in second place in each country, you won’t find much green.

County 2nd Choice – GOP Primaries and Caucuses (as of 3/2/16)

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Trump and Cruz have come in first or second in 803 of the 1,061 counties I have data far. He did OK in Virginia, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Charleston, and a few other scattered areas. John Kasich is the consensus second choice in most of New England.

“Tonight is supposed to be Ted Cruz’s night. It’s not going to go as well for him as he had planned.” – Marco Rubio, 3/1/16

The night didn’t go well for Rubio either. GOP voters have pretty much said they want to choose between Trump and Cruz. The career politicians, lobbyists, and media talking heads in Washington DC will have to find someone else to get behind in 2020.

Republicans Still Not Raising Hard Money

Once the GOP gets over its collective freakout about the impending nomination of Donald Trump, they might want to look at their inability to raise hard campaign money. When looking at fundraising in the odd year before the primaries (since 1999), and adjusting for inflation, the Republican candidates this year have come nowhere near what successful presidential campaigns have raised.


Dr. Ben Carson has raised the most, clocking in at around a third what George W. Bush collected in 2003 for his re-election. 20 candidates raised more money than Marco Rubio, the “establishment” choice at the moment. Rubio has collected less than Ron Paul and John Edwards in 2007, Bill Bradley in 1999, and Rudy Giuliani in 2007, other candidates who failed to win a primary or caucus (and who didn’t have the shamelessness to declare “victory” after finishing 3rd in Iowa). Donald Trump is cruising to victory despite raising less than 28 other candidates, a small illustration at how awful the GOP “deep bench” is.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have raised money like successful presidential campaigns. Hillary Clinton, despite taking in about $15 million less than she did in 2007, has raised a similar amount as Barack Obama did in his inaugural run and more than George W. Bush did in his. Bernie Sanders has raised 40% more than Ben Carson and 160% more than Rubio.

Lots of cash has gone to Super PACs and they have little, if anything, to show for it. When the Republicans do another “autopsy” in 2017, besides ending the racist nativism, they might want to look at closing the loopholes opened up by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and figure out how to raise hard money again.