Donald Trump did better than 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney among minorities, expanding the GOP’s share of both African American and Hispanic voters.
The revelation, which appeared in late-breaking exit polls, seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom— and the collective agreement of liberals on social media.
Data shows the rich whites voted for Trump, the poor, minorities and the left behind voted for Clinton. Deal with reality. https://t.co/SqNH79dI0h
— JCmacc (@JCmacc1) November 9, 2016
Early polls, taken before the general election, put Trump’s share of the Latino vote at around 18%, far lower than the 25% Mitt Romney got in 2012. But according to exit polling, 27% of Hispanic voters chose Trump, an improvement by two points.
Among African-Americans, the gains were similar. While President Obama got 95% of the black vote, Hillary Clinton only managed 88%. Trump got 13% of the African-American male vote, though he trailed 2012 with only 4% of black women.
Most interestingly may be Trump’s share of the white vote. While Romney carried 59% of whites, Trump dropped that number to just under 58%, meaning that, while Trump’s pool of voters was smaller, the GOP vote makeup may have actually been more diverse than it was four years ago.
This is, perhaps understandably, not computing with mainstream media sources. NBC News, which actually reported on the shift, couched the information by saying that they’d have to further “check their models,” and review their data, but in the meantime, they would “await what a President Trump will do and what that means for the kind of America we want to be.”
The Washington Post made sure to tell readers that, while greater numbers of Hispanics were voting for Trump than any past GOP candidate, that Trump voters overall were still “rejecting his message” on immigration—and voting for him in spite of his promises.
One author on Mic.com assured readers that while Trump’s share of minority voters was greater than Romney’s, turnout was smaller than it it was in 2012, so Trump was elected by fewer people overall. They also reminded readers that Trump’s win with black and Hispanic voters came despite “voter suppression activities targeted to minorities.”
CNN failed to give Trump credit at all, titling their exit poll article simply, “How Hillary Clinton Lost.”
Regardless of their struggles, the voter demographics represent a new reality that media—and particularly media data operations—will have to come to terms with. As the electorate changed markedly in 2008 to a younger, more diverse audience, so did it change in 2016.