1. Turnout was down.
In 2016 125,738,324 Americans voted. That 3 million less voters in the presidential election than 2012 that saw 128,768,072 voters and over five million less in 2008 that saw 131,073,135 people vote. Update: I’ll have to edit the numbers since votes are still coming in, but I believe turnout will still be less than 2008 and 2012.
2nd Update: I may have really jumped the gun on this. As David French wrote at the end of his article, “So stay tuned. Early analysis — like early reporting — is often wrong.”
2. Hillary Clinton did not keep Obama’s base.
Clinton received 6 million less votes than President Barack Obama did in 2012 and 10 million less votes than what he received in 2008.
Not only that when you look at exit polling.
- Most significantly she received less votes from women than President Obama. She received 54 percent. Obama received 55 percent in 2012 and 56 percent in 2008. She had the same percentage (but higher numbers) than Vice President Al Gore in 2000. Then U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is the only Democratic nominee since 2000 with a smaller percentage with 51 percent in 2004.
- She received five percent less of the black vote (88%) than President Obama received in 2012 (93%) and seven precent less than 2008 (95%).
- She also received six percent less among Latinos (65%) than Obama did in 2012 (71%).
- Among 18-29 year olds she received five percent less (55%) than President Obama did in 2012 (60%) and 11 percent less than in 2008 (66%)
- Clinton also saw six percent less Asians vote for her (65%) than Obama did in 2012 (71%).
- She saw 10 percent less voters who make less than $30,000 (53%) than President Obama did in 2012 (63%).
3. Trump had fewer voters than Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush.
59,853,842 (as of this afternoon) Americans voted for Donald Trump. Mitt Romney had one million more in 2012 with 60,933,500 voters. McCain had slightly more than
243,000 voters (vote count still going) than Trump in 2008 with 59,948,323 voters and that was a rout. President George W. Bush received roughly 2.5 million more votes than Trump in 2004 with 62,040,610.
Update: I am going to have to edit this somewhat. Votes are still coming in. As of right now this still holds true, but I suspect when it is all said and done Trump will have more votes than McCain.
4. Trump made inroads with white, blue collar workers.
Trump received 67 percent of the vote from white voters without a college education which was six percent more than Romney received in 2012, and nine percent more than McCain received in 2008.
Also he won among voters who have some college and/or an associates degree with 52 percent. Mitt Romney received 4 percent less and lost that demographic to President Obama in 2012 and that was an improvement over John McCain who only received support from 47% of those voters.
Trump’s message about trade and his efforts in the Rust Belt made an impact. Those who believe trade takes away jobs chose Trump over Clinton 65 percent to 35 percent. We then saw an expected win in Ohio, and surprise wins in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s likely he will also win Michigan which has yet to be called.
5. Self-described evangelicals back Trump.
Among whites who self-described themselves as evangelical 81 percent backed Trump while 16 percent backed Clinton. This is two percent more than what Mitt Romney received in 2012. Seven percent more than McCain received in 2008. Two percent more than President George W. Bush received in 2004.
There are two problems with this. First, evangelicals are not just white. Secondly, not everyone who says he or she is an evangelical actually is. I can point you to some surveys that show a great number of people who call themselves evangelicals are really functional atheists or do not hold a biblical worldview.
Only 56 percent of those who attend a religious service weekly backed Donald Trump. This is the first election cycle they have included that question in exit polling so I don’t have anything to compare it with.
Trump also led among Protestant and other Christians – 58 percent to 39 percent. Trumped received one percent more than Romney, and four percent more than McCain. He also won among Catholics 52 percent to 45 percent. A group that President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.
Something that needs to be pointed out when looking at these exit polls – Trump had less voters than Romney, McCain and Bush (in 2004). So it’s possible while the percentage is higher he may actually have had less evangelicals vote for him than the previous three nominees.
6. Undecideds broke for Trump.
This also explains why some polling was off in some states. The majority of those who decided who they were voting for before September chose Clinton – 52 percent to 45 percent. Undecideds broke toward Trump. A majority of those who chose in September chose Trump over Clinton – 50 percent to 46 percent. In October it was even worse with Clinton as 51 percent chose Trump compared to 38 percent picking her. The last week was awful for Clinton with 50 percent picking Trump and 37 percent choosing her. A plurality went for Trump in the last few days 46 percent to 44 percent.
No doubt information about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails and news about the Clinton Foundation made an impact in the last weeks of the campaign.
7. Third Parties saw gains in 2016.
While no third party or independent candidate disrupted the outcome of the race many minor parties saw some big voter gains. The Libertarian Party saw their largest voter turnout ever with over 4 million votes cast for former Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. They more than tripled the amount of votes that Johnson received in 2012. The Green Party with Jill Stein received over 1.2 million votes and more than doubled the amount of votes she received in 2012. Her total is still half of what Ralph Nader received for the Green Party in 2000. Evan McMullin received just under half a million voters as an independent candidate receiving the most votes as an independent candidate since Ross Perot in 1992 who received over 19 million votes (so his record will probably be safe for awhile). Perot was the last independent/3rd party candidate who did cause a disruption in the results of the election.