The short answer is: Yes, Donald Trump likely has greater appeal among less educated Americans.
While we should keep in mind that the margins of error are wider for subsets of national polls—Trump consistently performs better among Americans who have not graduated from college than among college graduates.
For instance, Rasmussen finds that among Republicans who have not finished college, 25 percent support Trump for president compared to 11 percent among Republican college grads.
No other Republican candidate comes within 16 points of Trump among GOP non-college grads. However, among Republicans with college degrees, Trump is just one of many favored candidates: Scott Walker (13 percent), and Carly Fiorina (12 percent) score slightly better, and Marco Rubio (11 percent) ties Trump. All of these are within the margin of error.
Similarly, an August CNN/ORC poll finds that in a hypothetical match-up, Hillary Clinton leads Trump by 15 points among college graduates nationally, but only leads by two points among non-college graduates. Moreover, another CNN/ORC poll found that among all Americans, Trump’s favorables were underwater: -32 points among college grads but only by -8 points among non-college grads.
These August polls line up with July polls finding Trump performing better among less educated voters, as I detail in this piece at Federalist.
Does this mean that Trump’s appeal is any less genuine or meaningful? Definitely not. But his candidacy has the capacity to divide the more educated from the less educated.
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