Election Analysis: Trump ‘Suffered His Greatest Erosion with White Voters’

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves during a campaign rally at the Ame
LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump “suffered his greatest erosion with white voters” that could not be made up for, even with his double-digit boost in support from Hispanic Americans in the 2020 presidential election, new analysis finds.

The analysis, conducted by Trump’s top pollster Tony Fabrizio and released by Politico, reviewed exit polling data from 10 states — five that voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 and another five that flipped from Trump in 2016 to President Joe Biden in 2020.

The Trump-held states include Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas, while the Trump-flipped states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The exit polling data analyzed comes from the National Election Pool and the Associated Press.

(Screenshot via Fabrizio, Lee & Associates)

Trump lost the most ground with white men in flipped states. Specifically, in 2016, Trump won that group by 65-30 percent margin to Democrat Hillary Clinton. By 2020, that wide show of support had dropped to a 61-38 percent margin against Biden — a 12 percentage point falloff.

Even in states that Trump held, his support with white men dropped by six percentage points. Overall, white voters in flipped states cut their support for Trump by eight percentage points and four percentage points in states he held.

Across age and education levels, Trump lost eight percentage points among Americans 65 and older between 2016 and 2020 in flipped states, 14 percentage points with college-educated white voters, and six percentage points with non-college-educated white voters.

“White voters with college degrees were a huge loss for POTUS while those without college degrees stayed in POTUS’s column by a larger margin in the states we held than those that flipped,” the analysis states.

In the suburbs, Trump lost tremendous ground as noted by the New York Times and Brookings Insitute. Across the nation, Trump bled support in the suburbs, allowing Biden to increase support by an average of five percentage points compared to Clinton’s 2016 totals.

Trump had attempted to win over suburbanites with rhetoric about Biden’s plan to force suburban localities into loosening their zoning laws in order to build dense housing developments. Trump also spoke about rising crime rates — most aided by Democrats’ goal to eliminate pre-trial bail.

NBC News exit polling on election day found that suburban white women were most interested in getting the economy roaring again, followed by a strategy to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus. Only 11 percent of suburban white women said crime was their top issue.

At the same time, Trump made inroads with Hispanic voters, thanks mostly to an emphasis on supporting law enforcement. In states that flipped, Trump gained 10 percentage points with Hispanic voters and 12 percentage points in states he held.

“Improvement with Hispanic voters was not enough to cancel out losses among white voters,” the analysis notes.

Despite a rollout of criminal justice reform messaging by Trump and the RNC to court black Americans, the president gained just one percent in flipped states with the group and made no gains in states he held.

(Screenshot via Fabrizio, Lee & Associates)

These losses came as the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) shifted away from tying the president’s longtime populist-nationalist initiatives to the coronavirus crisis, mainly the threat of China, mass migration, and a depleted domestic manufacturing base via a free trade consensus.

In states that flipped, 42 percent of voters said the coronavirus was their top issue followed by 28 percent who named the economy as their number one priority. In those flipped states, Biden won voters by a 73-26 percent margin who named the coronavirus as their top issue.

Trump had a massive gain on Biden with voters who said the economy was their top issue. About 84 percent of these voters went with Trump in flipped states while 85 percent supported him in states he held.

(Screenshot via Fabrizio, Lee & Associates)

The analysis is another glimpse into the electorate and the impact of Trump’s campaign moving from its 2016 anti-globalism, economic nationalist promises to its 2020 approach in emphasizing tax cuts, criminal justice reform legislation, and warning of socialism.

Other surveys piece together the overwhelming popularity of a populist-nationalist agenda for a presidential ticket.

Despite Trump’s loss, for example, Zogby Analytics exit polling found that more than 75 of voters said reductions to legal immigration are vital during periods of high unemployment. Likewise, 5-in-6 voters said U.S. border closures are key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

About a month after the election, researchers with Navigator charted out the Trump-Biden electorate into four categories: Populists, conservatives, liberals, and libertarians. Their findings were similar to those of 2016, that the route to national victory for presidential candidates is striking a balance between economic populism and cultural conservatism.

(Chart via Navigator Research)

The GOP’s leaning into libertarian policy initiatives, the research found, remains its largest weakness because so few in the electorate consider themselves economically conservative and socially liberal.

Those that do fall into the libertarian quadrant actually favored Biden much more than Trump whereas economic liberals who are socially conservative favored Trump to Biden.

While the electorate is effectively split between cultural liberals and cultural conservatives, the majority — 63 percent — are economically liberal whereas just 37 percent consider themselves economically conservative. In fact, on economics, a significant portion of Trump voters in 2020 described themselves as liberal with major support for Social Security and Medicaid.

Last month, Birkbeck, University of London professor Eric Kaufmann detailed the findings of a survey he conducted of nearly 400 Trump voters.

Kaufmann found that a majority of 55 percent said they would support a 2024 presidential candidate “who is more presidential, respectful and gets things done” but who adopts “Trump’s views on controlling immigration, nationalism and being willing to challenge the mainstream media, political correctness, and elites.”

Another 29 percent said they want to see Trump run again in 2024 while only 16 percent said they want to see a return to the old-guard Reagan-Bush Republicanism of “limited government, free markets, the family, and resisting tyranny in the world.”

Among Trump supporters broken into three categories — those who suggest the election was stolen, those who believe Biden won with some fraud, and those who believe Biden won fairly — most said they want a presidential candidate in 2024 that adopts Trump’s economic nationalist agenda.

(Screenshot via UnHerd, Eric Kaufmann)

“But Trumpism — a set of beliefs defined by hostility to politically correct elites, support for border control, and cultural nationalism — is likely to persist,” Kaufmann writes. “There will be no going back to the Reagan and Bush years, a Republicanism defined by tax cuts, family values, and missionary militarism.”

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com.


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