How Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency

How Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency

CBS News Exit Polls; Article Written by SSRS President and Analyst, Melissa Herrmann and Stanley Feldman

Many observers thought this presidential election would be decided by Donald Trump’s polarizing rhetoric, his history of behavior toward women and his questionable qualifications for the office.

Instead, CBS News exit polls suggest Trump’s win was in large part a repudiation of Hillary Clinton by a substantial number of white voters. While Clinton did win big majorities of minority voters, she did not get the level of support from those groups that she needed to overcome her deficit among white voters.

There are also indications that Clinton’s gender was a factor in the outcome. The gender gap was substantial. Trump beat Clinton by 53 percent to 41 percent among men while Clinton won among women by 54 percent to 42 percent. Four years ago, President Obama won 45 percent of men’s votes and Mitt Romney won 44 percent of women’s votes.

More telling is the gender breakdown among white voters: Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent. This was close to Romney’s margin in 2012. While Mr. Obama won 35 percent of white, male voters in 2012, Clinton lost to Trump among this group by 63 percent to 31 percent.