Remember yesterday's post about America trying out a multi-party system? These were the 6 parties we talked about, along with what percent of the perspective voters would be college graduates-- listed from most left to most right-wing:
American Labor Party- 15%
New Liberal Party- 32%
Patriot Party- 18%
Growth and Opportunity Party- 30%
Christian Conservative Party- 32%
Judging by the relatively large number of college graduates backing the fascist Christian Conservative Party, they are apparently counting unaccredited Bible schools as colleges but let's let that slide for now and get into Nate Cohn's NY Times essay How Educational Differences Are Widening America’s Political Rift. "College graduates," he wrote, "are now a firmly Democratic bloc, and they are shaping the party’s future. Those without degrees, by contrast, have flocked to Republicans." BUT the "vigorous wave of progressive activism [that] has helped push the country’s culture to the left, [has] inspired a conservative backlash against everything from 'critical race theory' to the supposed cancellation of Dr. Seuss."
Cohn write that there has been a "realignment of American politics along cultural and educational lines, and away from the class and income divisions that defined the two parties for much of the 20th century. As they’ve grown in numbers, college graduates have instilled increasingly liberal cultural norms while gaining the power to nudge the Democratic Party to the left. Partly as a result, large portions of the party’s traditional working-class base have defected to the Republicans... Biden won about 60 percent of college-educated voters in 2020, including an outright majority of white college graduates, helping him run up the score in affluent suburbs and putting him over the top in pivotal states. This was a significant voting bloc: Overall, 41 percent of people who cast ballots last year were four-year college graduates, according to census estimates. By contrast, just 5 percent of voters in 1952 were college graduates, according to that year’s American National Elections Study."
The Democratic advantage among college graduates may be a new phenomenon, but the relative liberalism of college graduates is not. College graduates have been far likelier than voters without a college degree to self-identify as liberal for decades, even when they were likelier to vote Republican.
College graduates attribute racial inequality, crime and poverty to complex structural and systemic problems, while voters without a degree tend to focus on individualist and parochial explanations. It is easier for college graduates, with their higher levels of affluence, to vote on their values, not simply on economic self-interest. They are likelier to have high levels of social trust and to be open to new experiences. They are less likely to believe in God.
The rise of cultural liberalism is not simply a product of rising college attendance. In fact, there is only equivocal evidence that college attendance makes people vastly more liberal. Far from the indoctrination that conservatives fear, liberal college professors appear to preach to an already liberal choir.
...Republicans opened their doors to traditionally Democratic conservative-leaning voters who were aggrieved by the actions and perceived excesses of the new, college-educated left. This G.O.P. push began, and continues in some ways today, with the so-called Southern strategy-- leveraging racial divisions and “states’ rights” to appeal to white voters.
The reasons for white working-class alienation with the Democrats have shifted from decade to decade. At times, nearly every major issue area-- race, religion, war, environmentalism, guns, trade, immigration, sexuality, crime, social welfare programs-- has been a source of Democratic woes.
What the Democratic Party’s positions on these very different issues have had in common is that they reflected the views of college-educated liberals, even when in conflict with the apparent interests of working-class voters-- and that they alienated some number of white voters without a degree. Environmentalists demanded regulations on the coal industry; coal miners bolted from the Democrats. Suburban voters supported an assault gun ban; gun owners shifted to the Republicans. Business interests supported free trade agreements; old manufacturing towns broke for Mr. Trump.
A similar process may be beginning to unfold among Hispanic voters. The 2020 election was probably the first presidential contest in which the Democratic candidate fared better among voters of color who graduated from college than among those without a degree. Mr. Trump made large gains among voters of color without degrees, especially Latino ones. The causes of his surge are still being debated, but one leading theory is that he was aided by a backlash against the ideas and language of the college-educated left, including activist calls to “defund the police.”
...There is no guarantee that the rising liberalism of the Democratic primary electorate or college graduates will continue. The wave of activism in the 1960s gave way to a relatively conservative generation of college graduates in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Perhaps something similar will happen today.
What can be guaranteed is that the college-educated share of the population-- and the electorate-- will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
In 2016, Massachusetts became the first state where four-year college graduates represented the majority of voters in a presidential contest. In 2020, the state was joined by New York, Colorado and Maryland. Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut and others are not far behind. Nationwide, four-year college graduates might represent a majority of midterm voters at some point over the next decade.
I've also been noticing-- and sharing with you-- incredible correlations between jurisdictions with very high percentages of Trump voters and very low percentages of vaccinated people. Would you be surprised that these same jurisdictions have low numbers of college graduates?
Let's look at the 5 states with the most college graduates and the 5 states with the fewest college graduates-- along with their 2020 percentages for Trump and their current vaccination rates. First the states with the most college graduates:
Massachusetts- 45.0% college graduates, 32.1% Trump voters, 67% fully vaccinated
Colorado- 42.7% college graduates, 41.9% Trump voters, 58% fully vaccinated
New Jersey- 41.2% college graduates, 41.4% Trump voters, 62% fully vaccinated
Maryland- 40.9% college graduates, 32.1% Trump voters, 62% fully vaccinated
Connecticut- 39.8% college graduates, 39.2% Trump voters, 67% fully vaccinated
All of those states voted against Trump last year and all are relatively well vaccinated. And now the 5 states with the lowest percentage of college graduates. All Trump states and all poorly vaccinated:
West Virginia- 21.9% college graduates, 68.6% Trump voters, 40% fully vaccinated
Mississippi- 22.3% college graduates, 57.6% Trump voters, 40% fully vaccinated
Arkansas- 23.3% college graduates, 62.4% Trump voters, 43% fully vaccinated
Louisiana- 25.0% college graduates, 58.5% Trump voters, 43% fully vaccinated
Kentucky- 25.1% college graduates, 62.1% Trump voters, 49% fully vaccinated
Yesterday, the NY Times published a piece, Least Vaccinated States Lead Spike in Children’s Cases, Leaving Some Hospitals Stretched, by Lauren Leatherby and Amy Schoenfield Walker. Pediatric hospitals are being swamped with children infected with COVID. "State-level vaccination coverage," they wrote, "appears to be making a difference. States with the highest vaccination rates in the country have seen relatively flat pediatric hospital admissions for Covid-19 so far, while states with the lowest vaccine coverage have child hospital admissions that are around four times as high. During the summer surge, the hospitalization rate was about 10 times as high in unvaccinated adolescents as in those who were vaccinated, according to a recent federal study... Pediatric hospitalizations have been pushed to new highs because Delta’s greater transmissibility has led to record levels of adult and pediatric cases of coronavirus across the country. More child coronavirus cases-- greater than 250,000-- were recorded in the past week than at any previous point in the pandemic, according to the most recent American Academy of Pediatrics survey of state data."
In terms of COVID cases in children per 100,000 residents in the state, these 10 are having the worst time of it-- from worst to less worse (but still horrific):
The average in the U.S. in 6,709 children per 100,000. All of the states above have over 10,000 and Tennessee over 13,000-- double the national average. These kids didn't do anything wrong other than get born into a family with morons for parents who are probably giving them worm de-wormer.