Hillary Clinton and the Women, POC, and LGBT+ Vote

Holiday Issue

Marley Morton, Columnist

The race is over. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States of America. Part of America is asking how while meanwhile celebration is underway for the other part. If not for her losses in big states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Hillary Clinton would have made history as the first female President in the history of the USA.

To try and offset Trump’s margin among white, Clinton needed extremely strong support from African-American voters. Demographic exit poll data shows that Clinton did worse than anticipated in Hispanic voters and African Americans. For an easier view, her performance has been compared to Obama in 2012 showing her failure to appeal to a number of key voter groups; groups that she was predicted to have more support from. Large proportion of minority ethnic groups backed Obama for his presidency in 2008 and 2012 because of the obvious attraction of voting for the first black president in America.

This time around, polling figures showed that ethnic minorities still looked to support the Democrat candidate — showing that just 17 per cent of Hispanics and three per cent of African Americans supported Trump. Clinton did win 88 percent of the black vote to Trump’s measly 8 percent. However, this was significantly lower than the 93 percent of black voters President Obama won four years ago. The falloff in her share of the black vote was due to black men. Clinton won among black women by a 93 percent to 4 percent margin. Among black men she won by 80 percent to 13 percent.

Given the history between Trump and Latinos, one of the biggest surprises on Election Night was that so many Latinos ended up voting for their tormentor. According to CNN’s exit polls, about 27 percent of Latinos voted for Trump; The New York Times polls showed 29 percent. Although Clinton won 65% of Latino voters — a level of Democratic support similar to 2008, when 67% of Hispanics backed Barack Obama — her share of the Latino vote was lower than in 2012, when 71% of Latinos voted to reelect Obama. Trump won 29% of the Latino vote, a similar share to 2012, when Mitt Romney won 27%, and to 2008, when John McCain won 31%.

There was evidence of a possible historic surge in Latino voter turnout nationwide days before the day of the election. The national exit poll suggests that Latinos did make up a larger share of voters in 2016 than previously — 11% this year, up from 10% in 2012 and 9% in 2008. Turnout aside, a record 27.3 million of Latinos were eligible to vote in 2016, up 4 million from four years ago – the largest increase of any racial or ethnic group. And the Latino electorate grew in many states since 2012, including the battlegrounds of Arizona, Florida and Nevada. Despite the outcome, polling experts believe a larger Hispanic margin for Clinton wouldn’t have been able to swing the election. Daniel Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida, said Hispanics couldn’t have offset the massive gains Trump made with white voters from Florida to North Carolina to Pennsylvania.

According to Edison national election poll, Women did vote overwhelmingly to elect Clinton, but it was white women who helped Trump win the title of President-Elect. Overall, 54 percent of women voted for Clinton — much higher than the 42 percent of women who voted for Trump. But when the women’s vote is divided by race, it’s clear that black women actually largely drove the gender gap against Trump. The majority of non-college educated white women at 64 percent voted for Trump, while 35 percent backed Clinton. This figure is far higher than non-college educated black women, of which only 3 percent voted for Trump, and non-college educated Hispanic women, of which 25 percent voted for Trump. Black, Hispanic and other non-white women backed Clinton in far greater numbers.

Trump’s sexist rhetoric has been well-documented throughout the election: When he dismissed a female moderator by suggested she must have had “blood coming out of her wherever,” called for women who have abortions to be punished (then backtracked), bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy”, and was dogged by allegations of sexual assault throughout the campaign. Despite all of this, 45% of college-educated white women voted for Trump.

As for the LGBT+ community, activists are gearing up for tough battles in the upcoming years. The GOP will be in full control of both the executive and the legislature for the first time since 2005 when Donald Trump takes office. The Republican Platform passed earlier this year contained some of the most anti-LGBT provisions in decades — attacking same-sex adoption and parenting and opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy, while lawmakers have drawn up bills affirming ‘religious freedom’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.

Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has confirmed a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s protections for LGBT people, as part of an ‘immediate’ review of executive orders issued by President Obama. President-elect Trump has also pledged to sign the Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, a law that would permit forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion.

It’s his white following that most benefited Trump. His most enthusiastic supporters were white men across the board, with 54% of college educated white men and 72% non-college educated white men backing him. These white men and women voted like a minority group, according to one electoral analyst, coalescing on a mission to put him in the White House.