So why did people vote the way they did?

The following was written by Tim Low, a good friend, confidant, and inspiration of mine. The stats were taken from exit polls conducted by CNN

I’m looking through the stats of the exit polls for the 2016 American election and there are A LOT of very telling things, so I’mma highlight the ones that I found the most interesting/revealing.

Just to orient you, the opinion polls first ask a question, for example, GENDER? and the answer (MAN or WOMAN) is listed on the left hand side, with the percent that matches (in this case, 48% male and 52% female). The numbers shown in the columns tell you how these people voted, so here, out of the 48% of the population who identify as MALE, 41% of them voted for Hilary and 53% for Trump, etc.


Okay so we already knew that Clinton was leading with women, but I was surprised to find that female support for Trump was as high as 42%. THAT’S ALMOST HALF!

Next we have Age:


Age I was interested in seeing cause we learned from Brexit that there was a very clear age bias, and as we can see here, there is also a very similar age bias, namely, young people liked the liberal option, and were less likely to vote for the fear-mongering, while older people identified with the conservative option. Not surprising, but still disheartening. We start to see that young people now have to live with the consequences of a reality that they never wanted.

Next, Race:


Overwhelming support from minority races, but since they only make up 30% of the population? We’re really starting to feel the divide here between the white people who support their non-white compatriots, and those who see non-whites as Other and it’s a little frightening. That support among whites is almost 60% for Trump!

Party ID and its intersection with gender:


This one was SUPER interesting for several reasons. First, look at Independents. They make up 31% of the population and fell more towards Trump than anyone else. 6 points may not seem large, but it definitely makes a difference Second, on the right hand side: republican women. Some media sources had indicated that women were going to be less likely to vote for Trump, but looking at Republican women, it’s very clear that they have just as much support for Trump as Democratic women had for Hilary. That strikes me, I think, cause even though the there are fewer Republican woman than Democratic women, it’s still an important thing to consider.

I hope this table makes you just as furious as it makes me. I don’t think any explanation is needed.


It’s important to note Christians make up 75% of the population of the US, with 3% as Jewish and 15% stating they have ‘no religion.’ In another table, Muslims were listed but so few respondents identified as Muslim that there is a ‘N/A’ in all of those columns.

Okay now for the super illuminating data, starting with OPINION OF PERSON YOU VOTED FOR:


32% of the population had reservations about the candidate they voted for. HALF OF THESE PEOPLE VOTED FOR TRUMP out of the 25% of voters who disliked the person the person they didn’t vote for, HALF OF THEM VOTED FOR TRUMP!

This is also super revealing:


Nearly 40% of the population thought that the MOST IMPORTANT candidate’s quality was their ABILITY TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE and 83% of those people voted for Trump!

These data speak to just how divided our neighbour country is becoming:


Author and Youtube star John Green mentioned in a video he posted that a lot of the people he spoke to want the same things as he did, but that they had VASTLY different datasets on which to base their decision, and I think that, combined with the above information, is crucial. We live in an age of polarized media that increasingly push vastly different agendas and the ability to have access to reliable, complete, and accurate information, is, I think, a very important issue moving forward.

This graph is important to me for the very last row, right at the bottom:


14% of the population thought that neither candidate was fit to serve as president, BUT ALMOST 70% OF THEM VOTED FOR TRUMP To reiterate, 14% OF THE POPULATION DIDN’T THINK TRUMP WAS QUALIFIED TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT, BUT A MAJORITY OF THEM VOTED FOR HIM ANYWAYS.

This is the last one. It highlights, to me, something that the media has been arguing over for the last several months:


63% of Americans said that Clinton’s email scandals bothered them, and the vast majority of those people voted for Trump. This shouldn’t have been an issue, but because of a large variety of factors, it ended up being, I think, one of the defining factors in the election. It’s not the biggest, but people can’t dismiss it after seeing data like this. Last night, one of the CNN pundits was saying that Clinton’s campaign partially blamed the email scandal for their loss, and the analysts were saying “these Democrats are being whiny; they can’t hide behind such a flimsy excuse like email scandals to explain why they lost” This data disagrees.

One thought on “So why did people vote the way they did?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s