Donald Trump’s stunning victory on Tuesday night is accompanied by some interesting data from the final exit polls that reveal the mood of the electorate and just how Trump was able to pull off one of the greatest political upsets in history.
Here are nine important facts from the final exit polls.
1. People hated both candidates. Only around 40 percent of respondents said they were excited about Trump or Hillary Clinton becoming president, while 25 percent of voters said their primary motivation was to defeat one of the candidates rather than genuinely liking them. The unfavorables were high for both candidates, as Clinton’s favorables were at 44 percent favorable to 54 percent unfavorable and Trump’s were at 38 percent to 60 percent, unfavorably.
Polls routinely showed that both candidates were severely disliked by the populace and that remained the case on election day.
2. Trump outperformed Mitt Romney among minority voters. Unsurprisingly, Trump lost to Clinton in the Latino and black votes by margins of 88 percent to 8 percent and 65 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Surprisingly, this was better than Romney fared among the aforementioned demographics in 2012, as he lost both groups by margins of 93 percent to 7 percent and 71 percent to 27 percent, respectively.
“For amnesty fans, the fact that Republicans lost badly among Latinos again, if not as badly as in 2012, will be proof that they still have lots of work to do to get right with that group before it inevitably becomes a major electoral force,” writes Allahpundit at Hot Air. “For border hawks, the fact that Trump improved on Romney’s showing with Latinos is proof that immigration doesn’t matter much and that an effective working-class pitch will cross racial lines.”
3. Trump also surpassed Romney’s lead on white voters. Trump won white voters by a margin of 58 percent to 37 percent, while Romney won them by a margin of 59 percent to 39 percent.
The biggest difference for Trump appears to be among whites who weren’t college-educated. According to National Public Radio, Trump won in that demographic by 39 points. Romney only won the demographic by 26 points in 2012.
4. Trump’s win was not due to “whitelash.” Jones–who resigned from the Obama administration after his race-baiting communist past was exposed–went on a rant on CNN against Trump’s election to the presidency that caused leftists to drool profusely.
“This was a whitelash,” Jones bloviated, per Robert Kraychik. “This was a whitelash against a changing country. This was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.”
Even though Trump did very well among white voters, the exit polls do not point to a supposed “whitelash”:
Last night, Dems were calling the race a “Whitelash” — wrong. Mitt won 59% of white vote, Trump won 58%. Minority voters didn’t turn out.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) November 9, 2016
Dem turnout problems in a nutshell: At this point, Trump has fewer votes than Mitt or McCain. He may catch McCain but likely not Mitt.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) November 9, 2016
5. Trump made inroads into millennials. Red Alert Politics reports that Clinton won millennials by a margin of 55 percent to 37 percent in CNN’s exit poll and 51 percent to 34 percent in MSNBC’s exit poll. In 2012, President Barack Obama walloped Romney among millennials by a margin of 67 percent to 30 percent, per Politico.
6. The gender gap was the largest in sixty years. According to NPR, the gender gap was 24 points, as Trump won men by 12 points and Clinton won women by 12 points. NPR declared the result as “the largest in at least six decades.”
7. Disrupting the status quo took precedent over experience in government. Exit polls from Virginia found that Trump dominated among those who were looking for change–79 percent to 15 percent–while Clinton cleaned up among those looking for “a candidate with the right experience,” 89 percent to 8 percent. The results were similar in Georgia, as Trump won 77 percent to 17 percent among those “angry with the federal government,” according to CNN. When extrapolated nationwide, this suggests that change was more important than experience, and the numbers from the Fox News exit poll substantiate this:
Four-in-ten voters (39 percent) were looking for a candidate who could bring about needed change. These voters favored Trump, 83-14 percent.
Clinton won those who wanted a candidate who cares about people like them by 23 points, by 40 among those who prioritized judgment, and by 82 among those who said experience was the most important quality to their vote.
8. Obama still has high approval ratings. According to the New York Times, “A majority of voters said they approved of the job Mr. Obama was doing as president, and those voters backed Mrs. Clinton by huge margins.” And yet Trump won in part due to voters who wanted change. Go figure.
9. Trump’s position on trade seems to have been key to his victory in the Rust Belt states. Per CNN:
Half of Michigan’s electorate feel trade takes away jobs, and these folks supported Trump by a 57% to 36% split. The 31% who think it creates jobs backed Clinton by a 65% to 31% margin.
In Ohio, 47% of voters say trade hurts workers, and they lined up for Trump by a more than 2-to-1 margin. The 46% who say it creates jobs or has no effect strongly backed Clinton.
And in Pennsylvania, 53% of the electorate agree that trade is bad for jobs. Some 62% supported Trump, while 34% backed Clinton. Among the 35% who feel trade is a job creator, Clinton was the favored candidate by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
In other words, free traders have a lot of work to do in order to win over the Rust Belt.