Education Level Of Americans: A Key Factor During US Election?

By Collie Lane, Parent Herald January 04, 04:00 am

The result of the election in Nov. 2016 has shown that Donald Trump won every state below the national average for college degrees except New Mexico, Nevada and Maine, while Hillary Clinton won each above-average state, except for Utah and Kansas. This showed an important educational divide among white voters, analysts say.

Education is now considered a factor in the political division in the United States after less educated whites have supported Trump and highly educated white men have joined Clinton, the Brookings discovered. How loud then is the resonance of such difference towards the political gap around the country now?

Several evidences have emerged suggesting that educational attainment played a significant role in learning the preferences of American voters. A survey released last October has found out that 22 percent of working-class whites believed Clinton recognized the hurdles they are facing.

On the other hand, 36 percent whites have said that Trump has acknowledged their problems better. The prediction came true with the final result of the presidential race.

The same survey also discovered many altered policy views held by Americans who have different educational attainments. For example on trade, 60 percent of working-class Americans said cost-free trade contracts were harmful as they suppress wages and displace jobs.

Almost 49 percent of college-educated whites disagreed, saying free trade contracts can open some markets for U.S. companies. There were certainly well-educated Trump supporters who understandably and strongly wanted a business/outsider candidate, Tech Crunch has learned.

"Many of them believe what Trump is telling (them) about trade and how it's been responsible for their economic problems and that he would have a different strategy on trade," Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac University Poll, said to Times Higher Education. Brown pointed out that race and gender are far more differentiating than educational level, as income and age - and that the dramatic numbers stem from the truth that all those other characteristics associate with education.

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