Among the many questions early exit polls are raising about Donald Trump’s upset victory Tuesday evening is how Hillary Clinton underperformed so severely among black and Hispanic voters, when she
was expected to overwhelmingly sweep up each demographic.
Exit polls from CNN and NBC show that Trump managed to perform better among black and Hispanic voters than Republican nominee Mitt Romney did in 2012.
Trump took 29% of the Hispanic vote, whereas Romney only claimed 27%. It’s a markedly higher result than anticipated, particularly from a candidate who once characterised Mexicans as “rapists” and whose platform included building a wall along the US-Mexico border and organising mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.
Yet despite a surge in early voting among Hispanics in states like Florida, Arizona, and Nevada, which boosted expectations of a Clinton victory, she ended up winning just 65% of the Hispanic vote — down from Obama’s 71% in 2012.
The black vote, too, has mystified pundits, who believed that Trump’s hyperbolic claims about black communities residing in crime-laden inner cities would have more severely depressed his performance among the demographic.
Instead, Trump claimed 8% of the black vote — a low number, but still two percentage points higher than Romney had received in 2012.
Clinton, who had relied on black voters as her “firewall” during the primaries, received less of their vote than expected in the general election. She only received 88% of their vote, down from the whopping 93% who supported Obama in 2012.
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