Former President Trump boosted his support among Hispanic Americans in the 2020 election but the gains were not enough to make up for losses with blue collar white American men, Pew Research Center analysis reveals.
Trump, with a pro-police message and attacks on globalism, made gains among Hispanic voters, specifically those without a college degree, the analysis finds. For example, while Trump won just three-in-10 college-educated Hispanics, he won 41 percent of non-college-educated Hispanics compared to President Joe Biden’s 55 percent.
The gains among Hispanic voters for Trump did not make up for the former president’s losses with non-college-educated white men — a critical component of his 2016 populist-nationalist coalition.
While Trump won non-college-educated white voters in 2020 at around the same level as 2016, 65 percent to 64 percent, Biden outperformed failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with the demographic group, getting 33 percent support compared to Clinton’s 28 percent.
Most significantly, Trump took a hit with non-college-educated white men in 2020 who backed him by 66 percent compared to Biden’s 31 percent. That 35-point margin is much less than the 50-point margin Trump won with the demographic group in 2016 when 73 percent of non-college-educated white men backed him to Clinton’s 23 percent.
Non-college-educated white voters represent 42 percent of the American electorate, making them the most untapped voting base for populist-nationalist Republican candidates in the United States. Previous analysis has estimated that about 47 million non-college-educated white voters were not registered to vote before the 2016 election.
White men with a college degree, the analysis shows, have become increasingly supportive of Democrats. In 2016, the demographic group supported Clinton by a plurality of 47 percent to Trump’s 44 percent. In 2020, that 3-point margin grew to favor Biden by a 10-point margin.
Trump did gain slightly among non-college-educated white women — supporting him by 64 percent to Biden’s 35 percent in 2020 versus 56 percent to Clinton’s 33 percent in 2016.
Losses for Trump, though, were also felt in the suburbs, particularly with white suburban voters. In 2016, Trump won white suburban voters by a 16-point margin, 56 percent to Clinton’s 38 percent. By 2020, Biden had narrowed that gap to just a 4-point margin where Trump won 51 percent of the demographic group to his 47 percent.
The losses in the suburbs came as Trump gained in rural communities. In 2016, Trump won rural voters with 59 percent support but increased his margin with the demographic group to 65 percent in 2020.
The analysis solidifies, again, that Trump’s losses outweighed his gains. In February, Trump’s top pollster, Tony Fabrizio, released analysis that found he “suffered his greatest erosion with white voters” that could not be made up for.
“White voters with college degrees were a huge loss for POTUS while those without college degrees stayed in POTUS’s column by a larger margin in the states we held than those that flipped,” Fabrizio’s analysis stated.
The Pew Research Center analysis is based on a survey of nearly 12,000 members of the company’s American Trends Panel conducted November 12 to 17, 2020.