Election Blog #27: Unpacking the 2016 Presidential Vote: 15 Key Facts

November 14, 2016

The Democrats failed to turn out their critical base (Hispanics, women and African Americans) to win this election. There was no surge of female voters coming out to support Mrs. Clinton. In the end she held only a 12% margin over Mr. Trump among women voters.

Trump overwhelmingly won “white” voters 57% to 37%.

Barack Obama did better with Hispanic voters (71%) than did Mrs. Clinton (65%).

New voters, who accounted for 10% of those voting in this election, split their vote, with Hillary Clinton receiving 56% and Donald Trump winning 40%.

63% of voters noted that the Clinton email controversy did negatively impact her credibility. Those Americans who made this issue a centerpiece of their vote overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump (70%) compared to 24% who voted for Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump benefitted from the voting public’s unfavorable view of the Affordable Health Care Act (known as “Obamacare”), as he received 83% of those who signaled that their vote was directly tied to this legislation.

Is this country heading in the right (wrong) direction? 2/3rds of all voters believe that the United States is heading in the “wrong direction”. 69% of these folks supported Donald Trump. Those who felt that the country was moving in the “right direction” voted overwhelmingly for Mrs. Clinton (90%).

For those who viewed the debates as an important barometer of Presidential leadership, a majority felt that Mr. Trump had won and in turn, they voted for him 50% to 47%.

Donald Trump did surprisingly well with constituencies that everyone believed would vote “Democratic”.

Mr. Trump outperformed Mitt Romney in garnering support from Christian Evangelicals, Trump received 81% of this constituency’s vote, compared to Mr. Romney’s 78%.

In the end this election was all about the Rustbelt States, where Mr. Trump was able to win over Democratic working class voters and therefore shift the election in his favor.

This was the first election in which a significant number of Jews did not vote.

Americans in general are not voting as we continue to see a smaller percentage of eligible voters exercising their franchise.

The percentage of white voters continues to decline in 1984 86% of the voter base was “white”. In 2016 it is 70%, as Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans represent an increasingly larger base of the voting public.

Jewish representation in Congress and elsewhere has actually increased (19), there are now 23 Jewish members of the House (including 2 Jewish Republicans members) and 9 Senators. Another new name in politics is the Governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens(R).

Dr. Steven Windmueller is the Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor in Jewish Communal Service at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. His set of writings can be found at

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