Education, race, and Trump

(Another) excellent analysis from Michael Tesler in the Monkey Cage looking at the interaction between race, education, and support for Trump in the election.  Here’s the two key charts:

Got that?  When you control for racial and immigrant resentment (among whites, of course), education level matters not a wit.  Whoa.  So, one way of looking at this is the racial animus is simply far more common in less educated whites.  It’s not that there less educated, per se, but rather that they are much more likely to have negative views towards Blacks and immigrants.  And negative views towards minorities and immigrants drive support for Trump.  Tesler:

In fact, no other factor explained the education gap in white support for Trump as well as racial and ethnocentric attitudes — not partisanship, not ideology, not authoritarianism, not sexism, not income, not economic anxiety.

Simply put, the education divide in white support for Trump is largely a racial attitude gap.  [emphasis in original]

Again, that doesn’t mean that race is the only reason for the education gap in white support for Trump. Factors that aren’t quantifiable in these two surveys — such as anti-elitism and rural resentment — likely contributed to the education gap as well.

Moreover, these same surveys show that education affected support for Trump in the Republican primary even after controlling for racial and immigrant resentment. In the primary, there was clearly more to Trump’s popularity among working-class whites than just race.

Nevertheless, race clearly has a starring role.


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