Many networks did their own exit polling. That is, they asked people who voted a series of questions after they voted so that people could understand the attitudes of those who voted for Donald Trump, those who voted for Hillary Clinton and those who voted for a third-party candidate.
Here are the most shocking takeaways from the exits:
1. Hillary Clinton won with working class voters:
The conventional wisdom has been that poor, working class whites from rural areas got Donald Trump elected. While Trump certainly won rural voters by 62 percent, working-class Americans didn’t support him as much as they supported Clinton. That group certainly did help him more than they helped Mitt Romney in 2012, however. According to the New York Times exit polls, Trump only got 41 percent of those who earn under $30,000 a year and 42 percent of those earning between $30,000 and $50,000. Those who make over $50,000 a year in income supported him more.
2. Moderates did not support Donald Trump:
Something the mainstream media has left out of the discussion is that, while Trump won over 59 million votes, over 64 million voters voted against him. Democrats understandably broke for Clinton but Independent voters did too by 48 percent. Obama only got 45 percent of Independent voters. Those who identify as moderate, however, went for Clinton to the tune of 52 percent compared to Trump’s 41 percent. That means that the Independent voters that came out to the polls on Tuesday were conservative ones, not necessarily middle of the road voters. Obama won moderates by 56 percent in 2012.
3. An overwhelming number of Obama supporters did not vote for Trump:
One of the narratives that took hold on Election Night and the following day was that there must have been a substantial percentage of Obama supporting Democrats who supported Donald Trump. That is absolutely false. The reality is that the election looked more like 2010 than it did 2012 or 2008. Fewer Democrats came out to the polls and an overwhelming number of conservatives did. Only 10 percent of people who believed Obama was doing a good job as president voted for Trump. But that number wasn’t equal on the other side. Only 6 percent of anti-Obama people voted for Clinton.
4. The “I hate Trump” vote was smaller than the “I hate Hillary” vote.
If you thought the Never Trump movement was huge and powerful, they didn’t seem to be big enough to eclipse the “Never Hillary” crowd. Clinton was only able to get 39 percent of people who hated Trump to vote for her while Trump scored 51 percent of anti-Clinton supporters.
5. There really are people who think Trump is unfit to serve but still voted for him.
Shockingly, one out of 5 people who said that Donald Trump does not have the temperament to serve effectively as president still voted for him. A little over one in 100 people who said Clinton doesn’t have the temperament still voted for her. According to the CNN exit polls a full 15 percent of those who had an unfavorable opinion of Trump still voted for him.
6. People who don’t trust Donald Trump and don’t trust Hillary Clinton still voted for them.
The same as number five above is true here. One in five people who said that Trump was not honest and trustworthy still voted to support him for president. The same is true for Clinton, who also got one in five.
7. Older Americans voted for Trump but it wasn’t just millennials that rejected him.
Wednesday, Raw Story wrote about the support Clinton earned from millennial voters, but Clinton won with a majority of voters under 45, the CNN exit polls report. She got 55 percent of 18-29-year-olds and 50 percent of 30-44-year-olds. These numbers were down for Clinton from Obama in 2012, however. He won 18-29-year-olds by 60 percent and 30-44-year-olds with 52 percent.
8. White college graduate women did support Clinton over Trump.
There seems to be a narrative among mainstream media that Clinton lost white college-educated men and women. According to the CNN exit polls that isn’t true. Clinton won white college-educated women by 51 percent to Trump’s 45 percent. She did lose white college educated men, however, with only 39 percent compared to Trump’s 62 percent. CNN didn’t break their data down that way in 2012 to compare it to Obama.
9. Married men voted for Trump but their wives didn’t.
There were anecdotal stories that canvassers noted that in some states that white married men were turning away Clinton canvassers attempting to talk to their wives. Whether that is true or not, married women supported Clinton at 49 percent over Trump’s 47 percent. Compared to 37 percent of married men who supported Clinton and 58 percent voted for Trump.
10. Mormons still supported Trump overwhelmingly.
While Evan McMullin tried to carry the values of family and faith to his fellow Mormons and those in Utah, he came in third in his home state. An overwhelming 61 percent of Mormon voters supported Trump despite his “values” and only recently found faith.
11. Active duty military broke for Clinton.
There was a rumor that service members were overwhelmingly supportive of Donald Trump, who advocated sending troops into a ground war in Syria and possibly back in Iraq. Those rumors weren’t true. While veterans broke for Trump (61 percent) those serving now, those who would probably be fighting in the possible wars voted Clinton but only 5 percent above Trump.
12. Comey’s announcement could actually have had a substantial impact.
A full 50 percent of Americans decided to vote for Trump after James Comey’s announcement that he was looking into Clinton’s emails again. That final portion of the campaign showed that Comey’s message could have had an impact. Of the 13 percent of voters who decided in the final weeks after the announcement 47 percent went Trump and only 42 percent went for Clinton. In those very close states like Michigan and Wisconsin, it could have been a factor.
13. A majority of Americans felt negative about the idea of a Trump presidency.
While Trump voters think they have an overwhelming number of supporters among Americans, they’re wrong. A surprising 57 percent of those surveyed said that they felt negative about Trump becoming president. Surprisingly, 14 percent of them still voted for him.
14. A majority of Americans were bothered by Trump’s treatment of women but some still supported him.
A full 50 percent of those surveyed admitted they were troubled by the way Trump treats women. Yet, a little over one in ten of them voted for him anyway. An even more shocking number is that 20 percent said that they were bothered by Trump’s treatment of women, however, 75 percent of them still voted for him.
BONUS: Those who said the debates mattered – voted Trump.
Perhaps the most shocking, while many argued Clinton trounced Trump in the debates, 82 percent of people said that the debates helped decide their vote. Of those, 50 percent broke for Trump with only 47 percent going for Clinton.