Analyzing the Pieces of the Democratic Puzzle

"No candidate received a polling bump as a result of the Detroit debates," writes Morning Consult analyst Anthony Patterson this week. That's a big disappointment for the dozen or more candidates struggling to make the Democrats' 2 percent cutoffs for further debate appearances, as well as for the pundits weary after six or so hours of debates and post-debate interviews.

Actually, it appears that Kamala Harris sunk a bit from her numbers after her school busing hit on Joe Biden in the Miami debate, and Elizabeth Warren's post-Detroit numbers are up a bit. In the most recent national polls, Biden is still in first place; Bernie Sanders and Warren are competitive for second; and Harris follows in high single digits, with Pete Buttigieg trailing behind.

What may be more interesting is how the polling differs from previous patterns. In 2016 primaries, white non-college graduates in communities with low social connectedness thronged to Donald Trump, while college graduates shunned him. That was a new pattern, I wrote in a March 2016 Washington Examiner column, and one predictive of how Trump would switch 100 or so electoral votes and win the presidency in November.

So let's look at how different segments of Democratic primary voters are responding to candidates this year.

Start with white college graduates, once a negligible splinter, now about 40 percent of them, according to exit polls. They're also the Democrats' leftmost voters on issues, from impeachment to racial reparations. A post-Detroit Quinnipiac poll with subgroup results shows Warren leading Biden 28 to 25 percent in this group, well ahead of Sanders (11 percent) and Harris, who is tied with Buttigieg (8 percent). White college grads are among the best groups for the articulate Harvard Law professor and the articulate Notre Dame professor's son.

 Read more at Town Hall

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