There’s a common trope in politics that the Republican Party is composed of, and controlled by, affluent white men with stacks of Ivy League degrees amongst them. That might have been true at some point in the history of the Grand Old Party, but it sure as heck isn’t an accurate picture of Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
A single slide in a new PowerPoint presentation by GOP pollster Bill McInturff shows a) who the Republican Party is and b) the massive transformation it has undergone in just the last decade.
Here it is:
What the slide shows is simple: The Republican Party of 2010-2014 (and likely before that) was composed primarily of white voters (90%), with a slight tilt in that group to non-college educated whites.
Trump’s election in 2016 radically changed that mix. Non-college educated whites soared to almost 6 in 10 Republicans voters while white voters with a college degree or more dipped to just 1 in 3 GOP voters. And that trend continued – and accelerated – in the 2018 midterms with the less than 3 in 10 Republicans being whites with college degrees or higher.
That’s remarkable. Equally stunning is this data point from McInturff: In 2010, Republican candidates won white college-educated voters by 19 points. In 2018? The party lost that group by 8 points. That’s a HUGE 27-point shift among what had long been considered a pillar of the Republican base – in just eight years’ time!
The problem for Republicans is that their margins among non-college whites haven’t increased in anything close to the same way the party’s share of college educated whites has dropped. In 2010, Republicans won non-college educated white by 30 points. In 2018, the GOP won that same group by 24.
And, it goes without saying that Republicans’ inability to grow their non-white ranks in any meaningful way also lends to its demographic issues.
The Point: The ways in which Donald Trump’s election transformed the Republican Party are many and varied. But this just might be one of the most important ones.