Obama’s Appeal to Highly Educated Americans
Gallup’s Frank Newport notes an unusual finding in recent surveys:
Illinois Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a much greater appeal to highly educated Americans than to those with less education. Obama’s favorable rating goes from 39% among those with high school educations or less to 68% among those with postgraduate educations. A part of the explanation for this phenomenon is that Obama is better known among those with higher levels of education. An additional causal factor is that highly educated Americans are more likely to be Democrats. But Gallup analysis shows that Obama has a particularly strong appeal to independents and Republicans with higher levels of education, a pattern that is not duplicated by New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, or and former Vice President Al Gore.
The data for Republicans is especially interesting:
Note that Hillary Clinton’s ratings among Republicans go in the opposite direction, John Edwards’ are essentially flat, and that Al Gore’s are mildly curvilinear.
My strong hunch is that this is just some quirk in the data and that the effect of education is spurious; that is, some other variable or variables not shown that happen to correlate with education is the real explanation. I have no idea, offhand, what it/they might be, though.