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2016 pollsters erred by not weighing education on state level, says political analyst

Political analyst Bill Schneider said on Monday that one of the biggest mistakes made by state pollsters in the 2016 presidential election is that they didn't give enough consideration to differences in voters' education. 

"One other mistake the pollsters made is they didn't weigh the results in the states by education," Schneider told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"Education has become a bigger and bigger factor in our politics, and it's been there for a while, differences by education, but [President] Trump has exaggerated them. There's a huge difference between the college-educated white voters and the non-college educated white voters," he continued. 

"It's the non-college educated white voters who are strong supporters of Trump, and the [state polls] never weigh for education. So the result is they didn't get the right estimates," Schneider said. "Today we have a very odd pattern, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote Republican, the better educated you are, the more likely you are to vote for a Democrat." 

Fifty-two percent of voters without a college degree backed Trump in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center.

The American Association for Public Opinion Research noted in a report of the 2016 presidential election that there was an over-estimation of support for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarter Page files defamation lawsuit against DNC Dems fear party is headed to gutter from Avenatti’s sledgehammer approach Election Countdown: Cruz, O'Rourke fight at pivotal point | Ryan hitting the trail for vulnerable Republicans | Poll shows Biden leading Dem 2020 field | Arizona Senate debate tonight MORE because state-level polls did not weigh education. 

"In 2016 there was a strong correlation between education and presidential vote in key states. Voters with higher education levels were more likely to support Clinton," the report said. 

"Furthermore, recent studies are clear that people with more formal education are significantly more likely to participate in surveys than those with less education. Many polls — especially at the state level — did not adjust their weights to correct for the over-representation of college graduates in their surveys, and the result was over-estimation of support for Clinton," it continued. 

— Julia Manchester