When Bill Clinton entered the White House a quarter-century ago, the parties evenly divided the top 30 districts. Republicans since then have gained in working-class and rural areas, and among white voters without bachelor’s degrees.
The result is an America divided in a new way. “The new cultural divide is education,” says Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster.
Education helps explain some of Tuesday’s results that might seem like outliers in solid-Republican states.
In South Carolina, voters last sent a Democrat to Congress from the Charleston, S.C., area in 1979. In Georgia, a Democrat raised $30 million last year to compete in an Atlanta-area district—and lost. On Tuesday, the party carried both seats.
Both those districts—South Carolina’s 1st and Georgia’s 6th—are in the top half among all House districts for educational attainment. Both also have some of the largest shares of college-educated adults in their states.
There is one view that people who have been to university have more experience of life and the world, so they are better placed to arbitrate between arguments and are therefore more rational than people with less formal education. That’s a very nice narrative which will lead a lot of people to think that if they vote a certain way then you must be smart.Click HERE to subscribe to Fuller Treacy Money Back to top