From Ronald Brownstein writing at Naitonal Journal:
The blue-collar wing of the Republican primary electorate has consolidated around one candidate.
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.
Both national and state polls show Trump opening a substantial lead among Republican voters without a college education almost everywhere. And in almost all cases, Trump is winning more support from noncollege Republicans than any candidate is attracting from Republican voters with at least a four-year education. “It’s a challenge to Republicans that nobody has consolidated the college-graduate vote against Trump,” says Glen Bolger, a longtime GOP pollster skeptical of the front-runner.
In other words, Trump is cementing a strong blue-collar base, while the white-collar voters relatively more resistant to him have yet to unify around any single alternative. 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.
Read the rest of the story at National Journal.