For our most recent analysis of the electoral landscape, you re welcome see: “The course to 270 in 2020” through Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin

This report contains a correction. 

Introduction and review

The unprecedented and largely unanticipated election of Republican candidate Donald Trump together president the the United claims in 2016 set off extreme debates around how his victory was accomplished and which factors mattered most in determining the outcome. Although democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won a plurality of the national renowned vote—48.2 percent—with a nearly 3-million poll margin, Donald Trump brought 30 states and also won the Electoral College poll by a 304-to-227 margin.1

What occurred to produce these results?

In the immediate consequences of the election, and also over the following months, electoral analysts have tried to assess 2 main materials of how the 2016 choice unfolded: the failure of the vote itself and also the motivations for these vote choices.

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In the first category room items including vote composition, or the percent of various demographic teams as a re-publishing of every voters; turnout rates, or the percent of eligible voter in various demographic groups that actually voted; support rates, or assistance for the democratic or Republican presidential candidate by demographic group; and shifts, or rises or decreases in poll composition, turnout, and also support rates contrasted to previous elections for various demographic groups. The second category focuses primarily on public opinion data and other qualitative research methodologies to see how views the the candidates, campaign dynamics, and specific attitudes and policy beliefs among voters shame the overall vote choice.

For the functions of this paper we are analyzing the previous category, through a details focus on poll composition, turnout, and also party support rates by demographic group, to acquire a an ext precise review on what actually happened in the poll itself in 2016. Because that a thorough analysis of what figured out the vote, the recently created Democracy fund Voter Study group produced an excellent series the papers, including one by 2 of the authors of this report, examining the Trump and Clinton coalitions and also the issues and also social beliefs that shame people’s voting decisions in 2016.2

The most vexing worry for electoral experts exploring these voting fads is identify which, if any, that the currently data sources administer the best and most reliable information on poll composition, turnout, and also support rates. For this project, we occurred original turnout and support approximates by combining a multitude the publicly available data sources consisting of the American neighborhoods Survey (ACS), the November supplement of the Current populace Survey (CPS), the American nationwide Election examine (ANES), the participating Congressional Election survey (CCES), our very own post-election polling, and also voter documents from several states.We supplied this method to help attend to what we think are systematic difficulties with several of the many widely available and most commonly cited piece of data about elections—mainly, that few of the many reliable resources of data we have on demographics execute not fit well together with the finest data we have actually on turnout rates, leading to results that vary from the actual level of turnout seen on election Day. Furthermore, if we incorporate those data v the ideal data we have actually on poll choice, we gain election results that execute not heat up v reality. This is not due to any type of one resource of information being specifically biased; rather, each particular resource has point out of weakness. To overcome this, we produced a new method for combining this data in methods that fit with recognized outcomes. (see the Appendix for full description of our methodology)

As will be seen, our results on poll composition, turnout, and also support rates are frequently quite various than the most commonly cited data on elections: the national leave poll conducted by the significant media outlets on election Day. We believe our methodology gives us a fuller and an ext complete understanding of voter trends. Yet as with any type of study combining data sources, our outcomes are dependent ~ above the top quality of the publicly easily accessible surveys themselves. The sources we’ve work in this project are thought about to be the optimal U.S. Election surveys in existence, and we feeling confident that our results are as close to reality as have the right to be gathered indigenous survey and also modeling research.

For our analysis, we damaged the U.S. Populace down into 32 demography groups made up of 4 racial categories—white, black, Latino, and also Asian and other race; four age groups—18–29, 30–44, 45–64, and 65+; and also two education groups— human being with a four-year university degree and also people there is no a four-year college degree. The product of this analysis is the adhering to for each of those 32 groups:

County-level estimates of default voter compositionCounty-level turnout estimatesCounty-level estimates of voter compositionCounty-level party assistance estimates

These estimates are completely integrated with one another and, once combined, recreate the elections outcomes observed in 2012 and also 2016.

Despite scores that worthy and also incisive researches of the election, us still perform not have a clear understanding of few of its straightforward dynamics.3 through these distinctive data in hand, damaged down by team nationally and also in every 50 states, the goal of this report is come answer the adhering to questions to the finest of our capability and to make part assessments of alternate scenarios to help inform this debates and to sell insights into emerging strategies the both Democrats and Republicans, walking forward.

How much did differential turnout rates in between white voters, including those who are college educated and those who are not university educated, and also voters the color, including those who are black, Latino, and Asian American or various other race impact the result of the election?What precisely happened with the white vote, specifically the white college-educated and also white non-college-educated vote? How big is this latter team of voters compared to others? to be there a big surge in support amongst white non-college-educated voters for Donald Trump, or not? exactly how well walk Hillary Clinton perform with white college-educated voters compared to president Barack Obama?What precisely happened with the racial decimal vote? Did republicans do better or worse with black, Latino, and Asian American or various other race voters?How did this turnout and also support dynamics by group influence the outcomes in crucial Electoral College states such together Florida, Michigan, phibìc Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and also Wisconsin?If black turnout and also support prices in 2016 had actually been equal to black color turnout and also support rates in 2012, what would certainly the results have actually looked prefer in 2016? What about Latino margins?If white non-college-educated assistance for Democrats had actually been equal to white non-college-educated support for president Obama in 2012, what would the results have looked like in 2016?What execute these results and simulations tell us about party methods for the 2020 election and beyond? have the right to President Trump and also Republicans count on your 2016 strategy and also expect similar results?

Who yes, really voted in 2016?

The national story

Exit polls indicated that the vote electorate in 2016 to be 71 percent white, 12 percent black, 11 percent Latino, and also 7 percent eastern or other race. Compared to 2012, the re-superstructure of white voters dropped by a percentage point, together did the share of black voters.4 The poll share the Latinos boosted by a allude and the vote share of Asians and all various other racial minorities increased by 2 points.

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Our estimates tell a significantly different story around the racial/ethnic distribution of voters. The most salient difference here is the the exit polls underestimated the share of white voters and overestimated the share of voters of color. Our calculation is that 73.7 percent of voters were white (compared to 71 percent in the exits), 8.9 percent were Latino (compared to 11 percent), and also 5.5 percent were eastern or other race (compared come 7 percent). However, our numbers agree with the leave polls top top the percent of black color voters (12 percent).