The outlook's not so good for Donald Trump with his core voting bloc.
White voters are abandoning Donald Trump in droves as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has gained historic margins in the polls this week.
While Biden leads Trump 54% to 43% among all likely voters, one key demographic stands out: Biden is leading among white voters, long seen as an integral part of Trump's base.
Currently, Biden leads Trump among white voters 51% to 47% — a seismic shift given that Trump won white voters by 20% in 2016.
This lead is momentous: No Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976 has won a simple majority of white voters.
And even with some of Trump's core voting blocs, support is waning.
In 2016, Trump won white voters with no college degree 66% to 29%. As recently as September, he led with this group 63% to 33%. Today, his lead among this demographic is only 54% to 43%.
Another group that fiercely supported Trump in 2016 were white Christians.
White Christians constitute 44% of the electorate, with white evangelical Protestants leaning the most conservative, followed by white nonevangelical Protestants and white Catholics.
But Trump has lost 5 percentage points among white evangelicals since August, 6 points among white nonevangelical Protestants, and a full 11 percentage points among white Catholics.
There is more than one possible explanation for the dramatic drop in support for Trump among white voters.
It could be attributable to Trump's increasingly erratic behavior; his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic; or the recent coronavirus outbreak in the White House, which the Washington, D.C., Department of Health and nine other local health departments blamed on the Trump administration's inexcusably lax adherence to safety practices.
Trump has also ramped up the racism in his campaign of late, most notably telling a white supremacist group to "stand back and stand by" during the first presidential debate.
He's also engaged in racist dogwhistles against Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. Trump has questioned her American citizenship and eligibility for the position, and recently referred to her as a "monster" and a "super liberal wack job" who isn't as smart as her colleagues in the Senate.
At a rally in Minnesota a few weeks ago, Trump smeared Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the first Somali American elected to the House of Representatives, in a xenophobic rant. He claimed Biden would increase immigration by 700% and turn Minnesota into a "Somali refugee camp," then went on to compliment his audience for their "good genes" — presumably meaning white ones.
Older white voters in particular are fleeing from Trump as he threatens to ax Obamacare. When 44 million older and disabled individuals rely on Medicare, the repercussions of them withdrawing their support for Trump could be enormous. And their voting choices tend to reflect their priorities.
Jeff Link, a Democratic strategist and cofounder of the organization Focus on Rural America, who has done research on voters who shifted from supporting former President Barack Obama in 2012 to supporting Trump in 2016, said: "It's these older white voters that I think are the ones that are moving."
"The older people are like, 'What the f--- is this guy doing?" he told Politico.
Whether it's the White House occupant's racist rhetorical scare tactics or the looming threat to Americans' health coverage during a pandemic, white voters are jumping from the Trump train in record numbers.
Former Democratic National Committee chair and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell summed it up: "Suburban whites are pretty much gone."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.