Trump Coalition

Three counties bring Trump’s historic coalition into close focus.

In Ohio, he won because older whites rejected Clinton while African-American turnout was low. In Michigan, a large population without advanced education degrees working in routine service jobs swung heavily in support of Trump. Finally, in Arizona, bachelor’s degree-holders and Hispanics nearly turned the state blue.

Dive into the counties below from each state for a close look at the support behind Trump’s win.

Cuyahoga County

Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, like many American cities, is split along racial and class lines. One of the big stories of Election Night – Hillary Clinton’s trouble turning out the African-American vote – is directly on display here.

In a state that is much less racially diverse than the nation as a whole, Cuyahoga is a crucial cache of Democratic votes and low turnout there was emblematic of larger problems with the African American vote in the state. The problem was also on display in Hamilton County, home of Cincinnati.

Key Data Point

Depressed turnout in Cuyahoga – and across Ohio – hurt Clinton’s chances at winning the state. Demographics she needed, like strong African-American support, simply didn’t turn out.

2012

2016

700,000

600,000

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

100,000

0

Ballots cast in Cuyahoga

Key Data Point

Depressed turnout in Cuyahoga – and across Ohio – hurt

Clinton’s chances of winning the state. Demographics she needed,

like strong African-American support, simply didn’t turn

out.

2012

2016

700,000

600,000

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

100,000

0

Ballots cast in Cuyahoga

Look at the map below and you’ll notice a lot of red near central Cleveland.

Some of that may have been due to a steep drop in turnout, a decrease of more than 50,000 votes compared with 2012. More than six thousand people who voted also opted not to vote for president despite voting. Fewer Democrats voting in the Rust Belt meant the margins for Republicans increased, even while Clinton had huge turnout in states like California and Washington, where she won easily.

Cuyahoga also shows the story of working class whites flipping to Trump. That sharp bump in Republican votes on the western side of county came from areas that are overwhelmingly white. In the center-East of the city, the slight shift to red shows where African-American turnout was slightly less for the Democrats than 2012. Together, the guarantee of the Obama coalition to deliver this coalition just didn’t arrive for Clinton in Ohio.

2016 Shift in Cuyahoga County vs. 2012

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

+1% R

Romney 30%

Obama 69%

Trump 31%

Clinton 66%

-3% D

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

Mostly white neighborhoods near the center of the city

made a strong shift right compared with the 2012

election.

Cleveland

Neighborhoods near Case Western

University, on the other hand, moved

further left.

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

2016 vs. 2012 Vote Shift

in Cuyahoga County

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

+1% R

Romney 30%

Obama 69%

Trump 31%

Clinton 66%

-3% D

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

Mostly White neighborhoods near the

center of the city shifted right heavily

compared with their support

for Romney.

Cleveland

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

Bay County

Michigan’s Bay County consistently surveys at 90% white, leans older and less than 19% have a bachelor’s degree: an ideal base for a Trump coalition.

Indeed, the single most important point in Donald Trump’s election may have been his ability to win so-called “working class whites,” blue-collar voters without a college degree.

Key Data Point

Non-college white turnout was the key to Trump’s win. Whether a voter held a bachelor’s

degree was the biggest predictor of swing towards Trump support.

2012

2016

70%

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Non-college white support for Obama/Clinton

Non-college white support for Romney/Trump

Key Data Point

Non-college white turnout was the key to Trump’s win.

Whether a voter held a bachelor’s

degree was the biggest predictor of swing towards Trump

support.

2012

2016

70%

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Non-college white for Dem.

Non-college white for GOP

The maps comparing 2012 to 2016 show the Democratic Party in full retreat across the county, with Bay City remaining the only Democratic-leaning area. Across the county from north to south, east to west, the trend was Republican, even around the county’s more urban core in Bay City. This reflects Bay’s population: sometimes Democratic-voting, but not in this election. White voters without a college degree routinely rejected Clinton, making hard swings to Trump across the Midwest.

The result was Trump’s margin over Clinton more than double Romney’s already-large 6 percent margin, and a county nearly total-red for Trump.

2016 Vote Shift in Bay County vs. 2012

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

+8% R

Romney 46%

Obama 52%

Trump 54%

Clinton 41%

-11% D

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

With a large white population without

bachelor’s degrees, the urban center

of Bay County, Bay City, made a strong

shift to Trump.

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

2016 vs. 2012 Vote Shift in Bay

County

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

+8% R

Romney 46%

Obama 52%

Trump 54%

Clinton 41%

-11% D

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

With a large white

population without

bachelor’s degrees, the

urban center of Bay

County, Bay City, made a

strong shift to

Trump.

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

Maricopa County

Maricopa County, the fourth-largest county in the country and home to Phoenix, delivered Trump more votes than any other county – more than 700,000. That said, he still underperformed compared with Romney’s 2012 performance. In fact, Clinton improved on Obama’s vote totals in over 600 of the county’s 724 precincts.

The Hispanic vote grew as a share of the electorate nationally to 11% and that played a big role in the results in some counties, like Maricopa, where 30% of the population is Hispanic.

The county produced 156,000 more votes in 2016 than it did in 2012 and the strong swing to the Hillary Clinton, particularly in the more densely-populated areas, suggests a lot of that vote was Hispanic. The other driving factor was likely education. Areas like Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe, with highly-educated populations, moved left this year to support Clinton.

Key Data Point

Counties with less than 5% Hispanic population supported Trump nearly 7% more vote than they did Romney.

Counties with larger Hispanic populations did not support Trump more than they did Romney.

7% more Trump support

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

More than 20% Hispanic

Less than 5% Hispanic

Key Data Point

Counties with less than 5% Hispanic population supported

Trump nearly 7% more vote than they did Romney. Counties

with larger Hispanic populations did not support Trump more

than they did Romney.

7%

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

More than 20% Hispanic

Less than 5% Hispanic

Another factor may have been Trump not doing as well with college-educated voters. On the map, those parts of Maricopa to the north and east of Phoenix have larger college-educated populations. Arizona is also home to a large Mormon population, which did was less supportive of Trump than Rmoney.

2016 Vote Shift in Maricopa County vs. 2012

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

-5% R

Romney 54%

Obama 45%

Trump 49%

Clinton 46%

+1% D

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

Phoenix

Phoenix suburbs Tempe (home to Arizona State University),

Chandler, and Scottsdale, whose residents are more likely to

have a bachelor’s degree, moved support towards the Democratic

Party this year.

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

2016 vs. 2012 Vote Shift in Maricopa

County

NET CHANGE

2012

2016

-5% R

Romney 54%

Obama 45%

Trump 49%

Clinton 46%

+1% D

VOTE MARGIN SHIFT TO DEM.

SHIFT TO GOP

1

15

10

5

1

25

3

40%

3

5

10

15

25%

Darker color shadings indicate more voters

Phoenix

Phoenix suburbs Tempe (home to Arizona State University),

Chandler, and Scottsdale, whose residents are more likely to

have a bachelor’s degree, moved support towards the

Democratic Party this year.

2012 Results

2016 Results

More Dem. support

More GOP support

Credits

Sam Petulla

Dante Chinni

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