Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Clinton Outperformed Obama in JoCo

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Clinton Outperformed Obama in JoCo

Nate Silver theorizes that college education was a large predictor of whether someone cast a ballot for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. He analyzed data from heavily populated counties and determined that those with a high percentage of college educated residents were more likely to vote for Clinton.

Johnson County is one of the most educated counties in the country. More than 52 percent of its residents have college degrees, placing the JO as the 16th most-educated county in the country.

Trump won Johnson County, but only narrowly. Clinton lost JoCo by 2.7 percentage points. However, she gained mightily on President Barack Obama's 2012 numbers. In 2012, Obama lost JoCo by 17.4 percent.

Over on Twitter, Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas has crafted a handy map showing just how blue JoCo was this election. 

I'm more interested in why Clinton outperformed Obama in JoCo and if that signals a bluer--though still red--Johnson County than the one that existed in 2014. If education level was the determining factor, I suspect that the JoCo shift toward Clinton had more to do with the opposing candidate and with local politics than an actual shift in philosophy. 

Most well-educated professionals like those who inhabit Johnson County weren't casting a vote for Clinton exactly; they were casting ballots against Trump, a sometimes vulgar candidate. Call it a dash of pretentiousness coupled with a whole lot of college-educated JoCo dwellers who had pastoral upbringings out west. Rural Kansas kids who finish college often wind up in Johnson County or another more heavily populated county like Douglas, Riley, or Sedgwick.

The other fly in the red ointment in 2016 JoCo was the Governor Brownback phenomena. Kansas went deep red between 2010 and 2014. This year's election was an over-correction. Johnson County unquestionably moved left this year, but I suspect that's temporary--no matter how many college degrees are thrown into the Golden Ghetto. 

That's like, my opinion, man.  


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