How Do College Graduates Vote?

Fred Bookstein writes:

You could do a column on the figure on page A14 of today’s NYT national edition, the figure that correlates states’ 2008 Obama % to percentage of bachelor degrees among adults aged at least 25. The correlation is not news, but the graphic is nice, and I hadn’t realized how wide was the range of those state averages. I’m not your only reader who might be interested in your take on its implications, maybe with a Richard-Florida-like component (where are the creative class migrating from/to, and where might this tip an election?).

I noticed that graph too! I don’t have the energy for a full response, but let me just point out that the relation between education and voting is quite a bit more complicated at the individual level than at the level of state averages. Here’s McCain’s share of the two-party vote in 2008 broken down by education, age, and ethnicity:


The map in today’s Times is pretty but I fear it gives a misleading perspective on education and partisanship.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.