White college-educated Americans are far less likely to say poverty is a critical issue — only 37 percent, compared to 47 percent of white non-college-educated Americans and a majority of Hispanic and black Americans (at 52 and 69 percent, respectively).
…The empathy gap of college-educated whites only widens in regions where Trump excelled electorally, like the Southwest and the Southeast. White college-educated residents of those regions are far less concerned than those without a college degree about the lack of equal opportunity in education. Nearly half of white college-educated respondents (46 percent) told PRRI that it is not a major problem if not everyone has an equal chance in life — a view shared by only 36 percent of those without a college education.
….64 percent of whites without a college degree in the Southeast and Southwest — including 31 percent of Democrats — said discrimination against white people has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Strikingly, more than 40 percent of young white people (under age 30) in these regions agreed that discrimination against whites is as big a problem as discrimination against nonwhites.
…As PRRI noted when releasing its survey on Monday, the Republican Party is increasingly becoming a party of white evangelical Protestants, while the Democratic Party is increasingly the home of ethnic minorities and the religiously unaffiliated.
…There is no point in having a debate on economic anxiety versus old-fashioned racism when a huge swath of white people insist that barriers to success in this country are conceived more in economic than in social terms, while another group of white people seem unable to empathize with the suffering of others, even those who look like them.