As the 2018 midterm elections approach, women and college graduates have moved toward the Democratic Party, the Pew Research Center reported in a study released March 20.
The study said 58 percent of all voters with at least a four-year college degree now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, the highest share since 1992.
“Education has been associated with Democratic affiliation for a while now — but the relationship has become stronger in the last few election cycles,” UNC political science professor Timothy Ryan said in an email.
He said one reason for this is that higher education tends to attract people with a more secular and multicultural worldview.
“Once in higher education, universities probably serve (on average) to strengthen these affinities — for instance people are exposed to left-leaning professors,” Ryan said.
Ryan said the relationship with gender is less strong than some might think, referencing that President Donald Trump won white women by a margin of 52 to 43.
“That’s a smaller margin than for white men, but he still won in this group,” Ryan said.
He said it’s very difficult to say how the results of this study will unfold in the future because it depends on choices that parties have not made yet.
“It seems like different factions of the Democratic Party want it to take on a more left-leaning or centrist stance," Ryan said. "Whatever side wins out, it will undoubtedly invoke a different response from the Republicans."