A Washington Post-ABC News poll came out today with a pretty surprising result: White women, that coveted demographic who broke +9 for Trump last November and +14 for the GOP in the 2014 midterms, seem to have completely reversed course:
New WaPo poll:
Dems lead in generic House ballot matchup by 12 points among registered voters, 51-39.
Key nugget: White women have swung sharply towards Dems:https://t.co/Fsap9hqEuupic.twitter.com/KfDt4fDYYq— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 22, 2018
But white women have moved sharply in Democrats’ direction, favoring them over Republicans by 12 points after supporting Trump by nine points in 2016 and Republican candidates by 14 points in the 2014 midterm election, according to network exit polls.
If you trust the poll, that’s a 21-point reversal in the course of a single year, which is pretty remarkable even by the volatile standards of our current political situation.
The Post offers no explanation for why this is happening, and I’m throwing my hands up too—it’s not like Trump’s misogyny was a big secret before the election, and ditto for any of his policies. If none of that swayed them, it’s hard to understand what’s going on now, unless it’s as simple as a year of incompetence opening their eyes.
The group’s previous support for Trump led to the awkward conclusion first identified by Matt Bruenig, which is that women and people of color made up the majority of the Trump coalition.
Some other noteworthy results from the poll:
—Democrats lead on a generic ballot overall by 12 points, which is their largest in this poll since 2006. Because of gerrymandering, the Post estimates that they’ll need a six-to-eight point edge to re-take control of the House. However, despite seeming ahead of the curve, a lot depends on which races are actually competitive, so this is very, very far from a sure thing.
—Women overall favor Dems by 26 points. Nonwhite women? Fifty-three points.
—We are still a stupidly partisan country—at least 90 percent of self-identified Republicans and Democrats support their own party.
—Independents, on the other hand, broke +16 to Democrats, which is critical for midterm results. Half of them “strongly disapprove” of Trump, and only about 20 percent “strongly approve.”
—The good news for Republicans is that 58 percent think the economy is doing well, and the answer to that question was a huge predictor of whether respondents supported the GOP or not.
It’s going to be a very interesting ten months.