Let's start tonight by looking at some simple correlations. I regret I don't have average IQ scores to factor in. These are the half dozen states with the highest average per capita income, along with some facts about each-- their aggregate support for Trump in 2020 and how vaccinated their residents are:
Massachusetts- $83,738, 32.1% Trump, 70% fully vaccinated
New York- $83,122, 37.7% Trump, 67% fully vaccinated
California- $79,480, 34.3% Trump, 61% fully vaccinated
Washington- $76,791, 38.8% Trump, 64% fully vaccinated
Connecticut- $75,317, 39.2% Trump, 71% fully vaccinated
New Jersey- $73,974, 41.4% Trump, 66% fully vaccinated
And these are the half dozen states with the lowest average per capita income, along with the same facts about each of these states:
Mississippi- $43,222, 57.6% Trump, 46% fully vaccinated
Idaho- $47,685, 63.8% Trump, 44% fully vaccinated
Arkansas- $48,672, 62.4% Trump, 48% fully vaccinated
West Virginia- $48,741, 68.6% Trump, 41% fully vaccinated
South Dakota- $49,167, 61.8% Trump, 53% fully vaccinated
South Carolina- 49,554, 55.1% Trump, 50% fully vaccinated
No big surprises here, right? States with higher wages voted against Trump and are more vaccinated and states with low average wages voted for Trump and have far more unvaccinated people. This breaks down even more clearly when you look at the data more gradually, like on the county levels. What happened to the Democratic Party that once represented the working class?
Now, let's move on to the overtly political. Hector Osegura hasn't decided whether or not he's running for the Albio Sires seat in North Jersey yet, heavily Latino and heavily Democratic Hudson County. I hope he does. Wednesday he gave me his take on the Democrats' poor performance the day before. "Democrats across the nation," he said, "should learn some important and tough lessons from yesterday's elections. The unabashed centrist, Terry McAuliffe, lost in an upset, while the mildly progressive Phil Murphy won on the backs of young Black and Latino progressive voters. Much of the discourse from the mainstream media has been some version of 'have the Democrats gone too far left,' but the truth is the opposite. A governor who campaigned with Bernie Sanders and delivered on policies like a millionaire's tax will emerge victorious, whereas the Republican-lite moderate was bested by a mini-Trump. Rather than sinking Democratic candidates, it appears that doubling down on the base and championing progessive policies is a path to victory for Democrats in the 21st Century. They cannot rely on anti-Trump sentiment to win elections, rather they will need to deliver on the bold policies they campaigned on."
Louisiana progressive champion Gary Chambers expressed a similar perspective late Tuesday night: "The party," he wrote, "stood up another white man they said would bring home the moderate vote. It didn’t work. They lost. Take notes. Black voters and young voters will stay home if we don’t give them what they want. We are tired of being lied to & being forced to choose the candidate the 'polls' say can win. Without momentum, which Republicans have, like it or not, we won’t beat them. Republicans leaned into their base, which happens to want an America that is less equitable and rigged against Black, Brown and poor people. We keep trying to push Democrats that cater to the middle instead of building the base of the party with bold ideas that advance working people. Let this be a lesson for 2022. Republicans will lean into the racism and bigotry of Trump. If we want to beat that, we go Bold. We go Black & Brown & more progressive. We go for the candidates who can fire up and build the base. That’s how we gain margins & beat back Trumpers. Ignore us and watch tonight rinse and repeat next November. Democrats have just a few months to pivot. And let’s not pretend the party doesn’t help who they believe will bring in the 'soft white votes.' It’s happening all over this country. Don’t blame the people if you don’t win. The party isn’t giving the people what they want. Give the people what they want and you’ll win. It’s really simple. Trump isn’t that great, he just leaned into what his people wanted."
This morning, Chuck Todd and his crew took a look at the exit polls from Virginia's election:
Like I said, there is no data based on IQ and education doesn't mimic IQ but is still worth looking at. Trump, as always, does best among the poorly educated and worst among the highly educated. He took 61% of the voters who have never attended college but just 40% of voters with post graduate degrees:
Voters who received at least one jab of COVID vaccine (84% of voters preferred McAuliffe 56-43% but voters who haven't even had one shot (16% of the electorate) preferred Youngkin wide a huge margin-- 85-15%. White evangelicals and born-again Christians made up 27% of the electorate and 89% of them voted for Youngkin. 55% of voters live in a home where someone has a gun and those people also voted heavily for Youngkin (67%). Most voters (58%) want to see abortion stay legal and they voted for McAuliffe but by just 73-26%. Among the 37% who want abortion criminalized, Youngkin's support was much bigger-- 87-13%.
You can read all the NBC News exit polling here, but here are a few more questions that you may find intriguing:
Todd's team takeaway is that Democrats are "losing white voters, rural voters and voters without college degrees by such large margins that it makes winning elections hard. Even in diverse and highly educated states like Virginia and New Jersey.
In Virginia, white men made up 36 percent of the electorate, according to the exit poll, and they broke for Republican Glenn Youngkin over Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a 2-to-1 margin, 66 percent to 34 percent. (In 2017’s gubernatorial contest, it was 63 percent to 36 percent.)
White women, who made up 38 percent of voters in Virginia, sided with Youngkin by 14 points, 57 percent to 43 percent. (In 2017, it was just by 3 points, 51 percent to 48 percent.)
Whites without a college degree, representing 36 percent of voters, went for Youngkin, 76 percent to 24 percent. (In 2017, it was 72 percent to 26 percent.)
And while there was no exit poll in New Jersey, we can see this same trend in Republican Jack Ciattarelli’s performance in the state’s whitest and most rural counties.
If you are losing 36 percent of all voters by a 76 percent-to-24 percent margin, it means you have to win 65 percent of all other voters to get to 50 percent-plus one. (Conversely, if you’re Youngkin and winning these voters by that margin, it means you need to win just 35 percent of all other voters.)
That’s the consequence of being a party that is struggling so mightily to appeal to these voters.