Apparently Ron Brownstein (with an assist from GOP pollster Glen Bolger) has come to the same conclusion.
The blue-collar wing of the Republican primary electorate has consolidated around one candidate.Here is why that is important.
The party’s white-collar wing remains fragmented.
That may be the most concise explanation of the dynamic that has propelled Donald Trump to a consistent and sometimes commanding lead in the early stages of the GOP presidential nomination contest.
That disparity is critical because in both the 2008 and 2012 GOP nomination fights, voters with and without a four-year college degree each cast almost exactly half of the total primary votes, according to cumulative analyses of exit poll results by ABC pollster Gary Langer. With the two wings evenly matched in size, Trump’s greater success at consolidating his “bracket” explains much of his advantage in the polls.You might recall that Judis pegged the number of MARS voters at approximately 30-35% of Republican voters and 20% of the electorate.
For those who are either convinced of Trump's eventual demise or think that he can't be beat, here's what it comes down to:
Bolger predicts that upscale and white-collar Republicans will eventually unify around a single alternative to Trump after the early voting culls the field. “Given how much Trump is dominating the campaign, the fact that he does so much worse with college graduates underscores that they are not buying into either his message or persona,” Bolger said. “That’s not who he is targeting his message to.”In other words, either white collar Republicans coalesce around a Trump alternative soon, or he starts winning primaries and becomes difficult to beat. How's that for pinpointed political prognostication? It might not be terribly definitive. But it just so happens to be spot-on when it comes to the Republican presidential nominating process right now.
But because so many candidates are running competitively with those voters—including Carson, Fiorina, Rubio, sometimes Bush, Kasich, Christie, and Trump himself—they face the common risk in the race’s early stages that they will splinter the white-collar vote so much that they can’t overcome Trump’s blue-collar support. If that pattern allowed Trump to win not only Iowa, which has frequently favored conservatives, but establishment-friendly early states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina, a more centrist opponent may find it difficult to reverse his momentum.