Donald Trump Supporters Mostly Uneducated, New Poll Finds

Aric Mitchell - Author

Dec. 10 2015, Updated 8:59 a.m. ET

Donald Trump supporters did not have a very flattering picture painted of them by a new CNN/ORC poll.

Take it for what it’s worth, but respondents in the poll of Republican voters were found to be largely less college-educated.

Yahoobroke down the results further, finding that Donald Trump “runs significantly stronger among less-educated, less-affluent voters, and performs particularly well among voters in the 50-64 age range.”

The poll also found that the billionaire former reality television star of The Apprentice currently leads the Republican presidential primary race with 36 percent support, or “20 percentage points higher than his closest challenger.”

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Donald Trump supporters also rated him higher on a number of hot-button issues, such as the economy, foreign policy, immigration, and ISIS, “in some cases by 30- and 40-percentage point margins,” Yahoo added.

“Trump’s support is heavily concentrated among non-college educated Republicans and those who only lean Republican and thus are less inclined to show up and vote in primaries and caucuses,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics in an email to the news site.

He continued.

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“The key question is: Will the currently fragmented college-educated half of the GOP coalesce around another candidate (say, Rubio) eventually?… If they do, they can stop Trump. If they stay fractured, then they may very well have to deal with the November consequences of a Trump nomination — and that won’t be pretty.”

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To this last point, it may be too soon to count out Donald Trump and the level of support he has received nationally. His rallies attract more supporters than any other candidate (on both sides of the aisle).

Of course, some of these individuals confess to going out of “morbid curiosity,” such as a number identified in this piece by WNYC. But more often than not, Donald Trump rallies are stocked to the gills with avid supporters, and they don’t necessarily fit the mold illustrated by the CNN/ORC research.

Take, for example, this IJReview rundown of supporters at a rally in Jacksonville, Florida. They ran the gamut from middle class families to female college students to senior citizens.

Digging a little deeper into the CNN/ORC research accounts for some of this by pointing out that Trump’s support seems divided between the less-educated and the wealthy, with 40 percent support from voters who earn less than $50,000 and 33 percent from voters who earn more.

Also, as Yahoo pointed out, “people without a college degree represent 68 percent of the population over 25 years of age.”

If Donald Trump is motivating this group to a high voter turnout, it’s not unrealistic that he could first win the nomination and then clinch the White House.

The latest general election polling data from Real Clear Politics between Trump and Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton finds the former First Lady with only the narrowest of margins (0.6 percent) at 44.3 percent of the vote compared to the Donald’s 43.7 percent.


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