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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Diploma Divide and the GOP Nomination Contest

Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses voter demographics and the diploma divide.

Jonathan Martin at Politico:

The most memorable feature of Haley’s otherwise forgettable gathering was not what she said but the nature of her audience — and how it explains why Trump is poised to win overwhelmingly in Iowa on Monday but will face the same general election challenges in 2024 he did in 2020.

I struggled to find a single attendee in the suburban strip mall tavern who was not a college graduate. Similarly, the day before, I couldn’t find a Haley admirer who showed up to see her in Sioux City who was not also a college graduate.

“She’s reasonable,” Jim Maine, a Waukee resident, said of Haley. “Originally I was favoring DeSantis, but he just hasn’t connected.”


That’s how Democratic primaries have been covered, and rightfully so, for the last 40 years. The candidate able to emerge as the beer-track hopeful almost always emerges as the nominee while the wine-track hopeful is limited to pinot-sipping precincts (hat tip to Ron Brownstein for the terminology).


Consider the new CNN-University of New Hampshire poll there: Haley is now only down to Trump by single digits because she is soundly defeating him among voters there with a college degree and even more heavily among those with an advanced degree.

Haley’s challenge is that New Hampshire may only represent a false dawn, a blip before the primary returns to states with a downscale demographic more like Iowa. She may find hope in New Hampshire, but that would only tempt her to return home to South Carolina and discover that she’s Hootie and the Blowfish to Trump’s Taylor Swift.