In 1992, 55 percent of registered voters with no more than a high school education identified or leaned toward the Democratic Party, while only 37 percent sided with Republicans. Today, the group shows a slight preference for the Republican Party.

Democrats lose ground among voters who haven’t been to college

Registered voters with no more than a high school education have gone from strongly siding with Democrats in the early 1990s to slightly preferring Republicans.


The exact opposite is true for Americans with at least a college degree, whose slight preference for Republicans in 1992 has since flipped. Today, about 58 percent side with Democrats, and only 36 percent affiliate with the Republican Party.

College-educated Americans increasingly side with Democrats

About a quarter-century ago, a majority of registered voters with a college degree identified as Republican or leaned toward that party. Today, a strong majority side with the Democrats.


That divergence was most pronounced among registered voters who had pursued a postgraduate education: Once split in their political preferences, they are now twice as likely to align with Democrats as with Republicans.

The partisan gap widens among women

Women have long been more likely to side with the Democratic Party than with Republicans, but the gap in preference expanded in recent years, to 19 percentage points in 2017 from 12 points in 2015.

Most of that growth, however, comes not from women who now identify as Democrats, but those who find themselves leaning toward the party, according to Pew.

Women expand their preference for Democrats

The share of women who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, 56 percent, is at a quarter-century high, a level not seen since 2008.


And the gap is widest among millennial women, who are three times as likely to identify or lean Democratic as Republican: In 2017, 70 percent of millennial women sided with Democrats, while just 23 percent preferred Republicans.

That gap is more than two times as large as it was in 2014.

But not all women have moved toward the Democrats. Support for Republicans has steadily risen among women in the Silent Generation, defined by Pew as those born from 1928 to 1945. Today, 48 percent of those women side with Republicans, while 46 percent align with Democrats.

Correction: March 22, 2018

An earlier version of this article misstated Pew’s definition of the Silent Generation. It includes people born from 1928 to 1945, not 1965 to 1980.

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