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White people voted to elect Donald Trump

In the run-up to Election Day, most discussion of demographics emphasized growing turnout among Latino voters and hand-wringing over whether Democrats could turn out black voters. But by early Wednesday, white voters’ resounding support for Republican Donald Trump — including a majority of white women — was the clearest trend at the voting booth.

That’s according to the results of Edison Research’s national election poll, which was collected from a sample of 24,537 respondents at 350 polling places.


The exit poll isn’t perfect — in part because it relies on human survey-takers at pre-selected precincts. In 2012, for example, it significantly oversampled black voters. And little under one-fifth of the respondents to the poll were early and absentee voters this year, when early voting turnout is expected to record an unprecedented share.

We’ll eventually get more rigorous data on who voted, and how, from the Census Bureau. But the exit poll does offer some early insights into the demographics of the electorate.

Based on this data, across the board, white people of nearly all ages, genders, and education levels chose Trump. The only exception: college-educated white women.

Whites vs. nonwhite voters

  • Whites made up 70 percent of voters
  • 58 percent of all whites voted for Trump
  • 21 percent of nonwhites voted for Trump

White men

  • White men made up 34 percent of voters
  • 63 percent of them voted Trump
  • 31 percent voted Clinton

White women

  • White women made up 37 percent of voters
  • 53 percent of them voted Trump
  • 43 percent voted Clinton

Young whites (ages 18-29)

  • Young white people made up 12 percent of voters
  • 48 percent of them voted Trump
  • 43 percent voted Clinton
  • In comparison, 9 percent of young blacks and 24 percent of young Latinos voted for Trump.

College-educated whites

  • White college graduates made up 37 percent of voters
  • 49 percent of them voted for Trump, while 45 percent voted for Clinton.
  • 54 percent of college-educated white men voted Trump.
  • 45 percent of college-educated white women chose Trump, while 51 percent chose Clinton. This is the only white demographic tracked by the exit poll that Trump didn’t win.

Non-college-educated whites

  • Whites without a college degree made up 34 percent of voters
  • 67 percent of them voted for Trump
  • Of the women in this group, 62 percent voted for Trump
  • And men voted 72 percent for Trump

Data for white women 18-29 and white men 18-29 weren’t reported.