Democrats are ecstatic they won just two of those three 2019 elections for governor in heavy crimson Southern states, beating relentless effort visits by President Donald Trump. However, their twin triumphs had to do with Trump and much more related to GOP Gov. Matt Bevin’s toxicity in Kentucky and Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’s prevalence in Louisiana.
Edwards and Democratic Party Gov.-elect Andy Beshear conducted well before Hillary Clinton’s 2016 support nearly anyplace in their states. However, the results also reaffirmed where Democrats’ true chance lies in 2020: suburbs with a great deal of college-educated whites.
Democratic successes in Kentucky (in which Trump won with a substantial 30 points in 2016) and Louisiana (in which Trump won by 20 points) are even more noteworthy since turnout skyrocketed in comparison to the races four decades back.
However, a closer look at the outcomes indicates it was not necessarily greater turnout that place Edwards and Beshear on the top. In both Kentucky and Louisiana, turnout surged strongly in equally intensely blue and intensely red elements of every nation, indicating both Trump and the Democrats were successful in galvanizing their supporters to the polls.
Rather, the difference-maker in the two instances has been big Democratic gains from these suburbs which have high stocks of college-educated white voters. By way of instance, Edwards won 57% in Jefferson Parish, just outside New Orleans, compared with 51% in his 2015 race. And Beshear took 42 percent of the vote at Boone County, just outside Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as 32% for Democrat Jack Conway four decades prior.
In general, Democrats’ narrow wins in both races would not have been possible without altering suburban approaches. From the aggregate, gloomy profits in the 20 Kentucky counties and Louisiana parishes with the greatest shares of whites with college degrees — concentrated at the New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati metro regions — were hardly enough to cancel Republican earnings elsewhere.
The continuing migration of exceptionally college-educated suburbs from Republicans from the Trump age is welcome news for Democrats. The Kentucky and Louisiana outcomes are a continuation of midterm profits for Democrats in areas like the suburbs of Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Charleston, and Oklahoma City.
More seriously, Democratic earnings one of suburban college-educated whites — and comparative stagnation among other Republicans — might widen Trump’s benefit in the Electoral College comparative to the vote.
Of those dozen nations where college graduates constitute over 40% of eligible white voters — California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Virginia — none are most likely to be crucial in the race to the Electoral College.
To put it differently, unless Democrats can keep support among other classes in countries like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, they risk further adding to their vote-wasting issue in 2020, which might allow Trump to acquire re-election when losing the popular vote by 5 million or even more.