CNN —  

The more educated you are, the more likely you are to have Democratic leanings, a new Pew Research survey shows. However, it wasn’t always that way.

The study, which is based on interviews with 10,000 registered American voters in 2017, shows voters with bachelors degrees are much more likely to identify with or lean towards the Democratic party.

The poll found that 54% of college grads see themselves in some shade of blue, compared to 39% who identify with or lean towards the GOP.

25 years, one big shift

Remarkably, this is a perfect inversion of the way the parties were made up just 25 years ago.

According to Pew, 54% of college grads identified with or leaned toward the Republican party in 1994; 39% did so with the Democratic party.

The education gap gets even bigger when you look at postgraduate experience. Based on the 2017 number, 63% of voters with postgraduate experience are some shade of blue, and 31% are some shade of red.

'Identify' or 'lean?'

  • In general, voters who “identify” with a party are registered with that party. People who “lean” towards a party are registered independents whose votes and ideals are generally in line with one party or another.

    However, Republicans now have a much stronger influence among those whose highest level of education is a high school degree or less. And again, it wasn’t always that way.

    In 1994, the high school diploma-or-under crowd was more Democratic, with 47% identifying or leaning Democrat and 42% identifying or leaning Republican.

    Now, 47% of high school grads or those with less education lean red, and 45% lean blue.

    It’s important to remember that, in general, college grads make up a minority of registered American voters. Pew’s research shows about a third of all registered voters have completed college. That’s fairly in line with the general population. According to 2015 statistics from the United State Census Bureau, 32% of Americans have a obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher.