Catalist’s national-level What Happened analysis for 2020 focuses on what we can glean from our voter file at the national level. But battleground states differ demographically and politically from the country as a whole. By supplementing our national analysis with reliable, state-level data we can shed light on these distinctions. When comparing these results to our national What Happened analysis — and even comparing changes across years and groups — we caution readers that statistical analysis of smaller populations and subpopulations come with higher levels of uncertainty. These uncertainties are larger at the state level. Catalist’s approach is a pooled model, meaning estimates are derived from national models, granular election results, survey data in states, demographic modeling, and other building blocks.Noted, but combining who voted with registration information, and then seeing how an area voted can still give you a lot of insight, and that's what Catalist uses as the basis for their assessments. White people are the overwhelming majority of voters in Wisconsin, and unlike the rest of America, they make up a similar proportion of the electorate as they did in Barack Obama's first election in 2008. But more of those white voters have college degrees compared to that time, although they are
We estimate that white non-college voters in Wisconsin are more Democratic than they are nationally by 2 to 3 percentage points, a function of the many so-called “ancestral Democrats” in the state. Compared to 2016, white non-college voters comprised 1 point less of the electorate, down to 58% of Wisconsin voters. Meanwhile, 40% of white non-college voters cast ballots for Joe Biden, a half-point drop in support for the Democratic ticket in Wisconsin since 2016. Nationwide, Biden and Harris gained 1 point with this group. At the same time, white college-educated voters increased their share of the electorate by 1 point compared to 2016, comprising 31% of all Wisconsin voters. They also voted strongly for the Biden/Harris ticket, with two-way support at 61%, a 4 point increase since 2016 compared to a 3 point increase nationally. White college-educated voters in Wisconsin were 7 percentage points more supportive of Joe Biden than similar voters nationally, relatively unchanged from 2016. It’s also useful to think of this as a change in electoral coalitions. While white non-college voters remain a significant part of the Democratic coalition, their share dropped significantly in Wisconsin over the last three presidential elections. In 2012, Barack Obama's winning coalition in Wisconsin was 56% white non-college while in 2016, when Democrats lost the state, that number fell to 49%, a 7 point drop. And in 2020, Joe Biden's coalition was just 46% white non-college, a further 3 point drop from four years prior.Within the white vote, there is also a significant gender gap. White women were more likely to vote for Biden than white men were in Wisconsin, but it's worth noting that Trump actually did better with non-college white women than he did in 2016, while losing ground among the other 3 groups of white voters when cross-listed by gender and education.
Black voters provided overwhelming support for the Biden-Harris ticket, at 90% in two-way vote share, yielding a margin of approximately 125,000 votes for Democrats, far exceeding the margin of victory in the state. While Black turnout increased by 1 point, turnout also increased more among other groups, causing Black voters’ share of the Wisconsin electorate to stay stable at around 5 percent. Nationally, Black turnout was up 5 points. The number of votes cast by Black voters increased in raw terms by 6.5% in Wisconsin but increased by about 14% nationwide. At the same time, Democrats retained more of their high levels of support among Black voters in Wisconsin than in the rest of the country relative to 2016. Black support for the Democratic ticket fell by just 2 points in Wisconsin compared to 4 points nationally. These trends may be directly related. In our national report, we noted that the 2020 surge in Black voter turnout may have brought in less partisan first-time or infrequent voters, which reduced the overall margin for Democrats among an already very Democratic-leaning group. Wisconsin’s relatively lower boost in Black turnout could paradoxically have meant less change in overall Democratic vote share compared to other places with larger increases in Black voter turnout.Also worth noting, while Dems have maintained their advantage among younger voters in the age of Trump, and increased it among younger white voters, Voters of Color weren't giving as many of their votes to Dems. (click on the graphic if you want a clearer picture). you read the whole thing.