For decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been making steady gains among upper income whites and whites with college and postgraduate degrees. This year, however, is the first time in at least six decades that the Democratic nominee is positioned to win a majority of these upscale voters.
According to the Oct. 20 Reuters-IPSOS tracking survey, Hillary Clinton now leads Donald Trump by 5.6 points among all whites earning $75,000 or more. This is a substantial improvement on the previous Democratic record of support among upscale white voters, set in 2008 when Barack Obama lost to John McCain among such voters by 11 points.
According to an Oct. 23 ABC News poll, Clinton also leads among all white college graduates, 52-36. She has an unprecedented gender gap among these voters, leading 62-30 among college-educated white women and tying among college educated white men, 42-42.
What these figures suggest is that the 2016 election will represent a complete inversion of the New Deal order among white voters. From the 1930s into the 1980s and early 1990s, majorities of downscale whites voted Democratic and upscale whites voted Republican. Now, looking at combined male and female vote totals, the opposite is true.