In the weeks leading up to election day, media outlets across America touted the strong turnout expected by Hispanic and African-American voters. To a large degree, the expectation was that their votes would strongly favor Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. But exit polls have shown that President-elect Trump actually performed much better than the media expected among these subgroups of voters.
In 2012, President Barack Obama overwhelmingly won the Hispanic vote defeating Republican candidate Mitt Romney by nearly 45 percentage points. The mainstream media in this year’s election expected an even stronger divide and a higher voter turnout rate due in large part to the immigration views long touted by Trump. But CNN exit polls illustrate yet another example of the mainstream media missing the mark. While Clinton did still garner the majority of the Hispanic vote, the margin of victory decreased compared to that of four years ago with nearly a third (29%) of all Hispanic voters choosing Trump. While this is a small percentage gain, given the fact that the Democrats were expecting to significantly widen the gap, the results are noteworthy.
The Daily Caller reports similar outcomes for African American voters who overwhelmingly voted for President Obama in 2012. Trump received a slightly higher percentage of African-American voters than did Romney, but Clinton actually received five percentage points fewer votes from African-Americans. The data suggest that some African-American voters may have voted for third-party candidates. Lower turnout among African-Americans may have also led to victories in Michigan and Pennsylvania, both of which were widely believed to be pro-Clinton in the days leading up to the election.
The influence of third-party candidates appears to have affected the overall for white voters for both Clinton and Trump. Despite media comments since the election that Trump’s victory was a victory for white, working class men, he actually received a slightly lower percentage of the white vote, as did Clinton, compared to 2012 data.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected subgroups of voters who favored Trump was young voters. In 2012, Romney lost with that voting group by 23 percentage points compared to Trump’s 17 points. The Daily Caller reports that the net effect was that Trump effectively lost “no ground while Clinton [lost] hundreds of thousands of votes to third party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.”