But the House results give credence to an alternative view, outlined in a compelling article by political science professor Eric Kaufmann, arguing that “political correctness has left a cadre of white college graduates unwilling to reveal their voting intentions.” In the piece, he offers evidence that there is a shy Trump vote coming not from white working-class MAGA supporters but rather from affluent Republican-leaning voters in the suburbs afraid to share their views on politics and hot-button cultural issues in public.
“Political correctness refers to the policing of speech so that it conforms to cultural taboos, especially the ones concerning race, gender and sexuality. Those who wield taboos gain rhetorical power, encouraging them to stretch the meaning of concepts such as racism to encompass non-racist actions such as voting for Donald Trump,” Kaufmann writes.
He references extensive social-science data to make the case that high-education conservatives are the constituency most wary of sharing their views on these hot-button issues with pollsters. And he points to exit polling showing a notable Trump overperformance with white, college-educated voters: Trump and Biden ran evenly with the constituency, at 49 percent apiece. The House race discrepancy, however, is the most significant bit of evidence of this shy Trump effect being concentrated in many mid-market suburbs and exurbs.