College Towns Across America See Massive Democratic Shift: REPORT

 College towns across the United States have come to overwhelmingly support Democrats, which is damaging the Republican Party’s ability to win elections in key swing states, according to a new report.

The American Communities Project (ACP), which has sought to develop a demographic profile of every county in the United States, has cataloged the voting patterns of 171 “college towns,” where major colleges or universities are situated and account for much of their economic activity, according to a report released by the project this year. The towns have seen a dramatic increase in Democratic support since the 2000 presidential election, with over two-thirds now being expressly Democratic, per the report and analysis by Politico.  

Of the 171 college towns, 38 towns flipped from being predominantly Republican to Democratic, while 79 Democratic-leaning college towns became even more so by large margins, in terms of average vote shares during elections, per the analysis. By contrast, just 47 Republican-leaning towns became more Republican, while just six college towns flipped from being pro-Democratic to pro-Republican.

In the 2000 election, 48% of all college towns in the United States voted for Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic nominee that year who lost the election, the report reads. In 2020, that number had increased to 54% for Joe Biden, who won.

Additionally, the report revealed that among the college towns and counties where support had shifted, several were in prominent “swing states” where presidential elections are often decided. These included Dane County, where the University of Wisconsin—Madison is located, and where the Democratic margin of victory in the state’s recent Supreme Court election was higher than any other county. 

In Washtenaw County, where the University of Michigan is located, voters chose Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 election by a margin of over 50%, approximately 101,000 votes, per the analysis. Had Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton obtained such a margin of victory in 2016, she would have won the state of Michigan, which Trump won in an upset and was among the states key to his Electoral College victory.

In Larimer County, Colorado, which includes Fort Collins and the campus of Colorado State University, the Democratic margin of victory in 2020 increased by 169,000 votes over the 2000 election, while the Republican margin increased by just 21,000 votes.

“This is a really big deal,” said Mark Graul, a former campaign manager for President George W. Bush in Wisconsin in 2004, to Politico. The shift is “truly making it impossible for Republicans to win a statewide race,” he added. 

Most of the new residents in college towns, particularly in Dane and Larimer Counties, were from outside the state and from states that favored Republicans.

Overall, the nationwide gap between both parties among college-educated voters in 2020 was over 1 million votes, in favor of Democrats, per the report.

College Towns Across America See Massive Democratic Shift: REPORT College Towns Across America See Massive Democratic Shift: REPORT  Reviewed by Your Destination on July 23, 2023 Rating: 5

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