Donald Trump won non-college graduates by a 51-to-44 percent margin in 2016; in the latest NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll, he trails 46 to 48 percent among this group. Trump won White non-college graduates by a 66-to-29 percent margin four years ago; today, his lead has shrunk to 55 to 40.

Trump won White college graduates by a 48-to-45 margin; in the new poll, he now trails Democrat Joe Biden 40 percent to 57 percent. In 2016, among all women, Trump lost 54 to 41 percent; that is now 59/35. Trump lost White female college graduates 44 to 51 percent; that is now 37 to 59 percent. White non-college-educated women went for Trump by a 61-to-34 percent margin in 2016; that lead is down to 52/43.

Trump’s support from White men is also dropping. Among White men without college degrees, he has gone from 71/23 to 58/37; among White men with college degrees, Trump went from up 53/39 over Hillary Clinton to down 43/54 to Biden.

And here is the shocker: His 20-point advantage among White voters (57/37) has disappeared (48/48).

In short, college graduates have shifted overwhelmingly away from Trump (from a 10-point deficit to a 25-point deficit); the lead among White college-educated voters has flipped to a considerable disadvantage. Among those without college degrees, including Whites, Trump still leads, but by smaller margins than in 2016. His problem with women has intensified.

Whatever appeal Trump is making to Whites by embracing the Confederacy and otherwise flaunting his white-supremacist views (low-income housing will invade the suburbs!) has backfired. Between his appeals to bigotry and his incompetent handling of the coronavirus, he has ceded college-educated voters to the Democrats, lost White male college graduates almost entirely and made his problem with female voters worse. He has not gotten a boost among less-educated Whites; to the contrary, he has lost support from these voters, too.

Aside from Trump’s continuing slide (his deficit overall in the NPR/PBS/Marist poll went from eight to 11 points), the evidence of his negative impact on fellow Republicans is piling up. He is dragging the House down with him. Cook Political Report has shifted “ratings in 15 more districts, including 11 moves towards Democrats and four towards Republicans.” The Democrats are now favored to expand their lead. Now the Democrats are favored to win back the Senate. Both House and Senate Republicans may be damaged by Trump’s baseless attacks against voting by mail and his efforts to hobble the U.S. Postal Service. Democrats are organizing absentee-ballot mail drives and encouraging voters to return ballots early to avoid delays; Republicans insist on going to vote in person, which they might have difficulty doing (either because of their own health concerns or because of Election Day lines).

Whether intentional or not, Trump is sabotaging his own party. Rather than break with Trump (especially on efforts to promote mail-in ballots), Republicans are like deer in the headlights, awaiting their fate.

The media should cease searching for a rationale for Trump’s actions. He launches into right-wing conspiracy theories and racist attacks because that is what he sees in right-wing media and what his sycophantic advisers tell him will work. He’s convinced there is an electoral majority of voters out there — albeit one he must artificially devise by suppressing votes for Democrats — so consumed by white grievance that they are prepared to ignore his gross incompetence. The good news for America is that there are far fewer of those voters than necessary to return Trump to office, and millions of Americans (especially the college-educated) who are disgusted by Trump and his minions. This time, they won’t stay home or throw their votes away on a third-party candidate.

Watch the latest Opinions video:

Historian Carol Anderson traces the evolution of voter suppression tactics — from poll taxes to poll closures — and argues they are all rooted in White rage. (The Washington Post)

Read more: