When you compare the 2016 exit-poll numbers collected by Edison Research to the preliminary 2020 exit poll numbers collected by the same firm, you find . . .
- Trump improved slightly among women, from 42 percent to 43 percent.
- Trump improved slightly among blacks, from 8 percent to 12 percent.
- Trump improved slightly among Latinos, from 29 percent to 32 percent.
- Trump improved slightly among Asians, from 29 percent to 31 percent.
- Trump improved slightly among “other,” from 37 percent to 40 percent.
- Among those who identified as gay or lesbian, Trump increased from 14 percent to 28 percent.
Trump lost a little ground among younger voters, those between age 18 to 29, declining from 37 percent to 35 percent. His support among seniors (those 65 and over) declined from 53 percent to 51 percent. Among those who had served or were serving in the military, Trump’s support declined from 61 percent to 52 percent.
One of the reasons some Republicans staunchly opposed Donald Trump during his presidency was the belief that he would cement the image of the GOP as a party of old, white, straight men, and tank the party’s numbers among women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, lesbians, and other minority groups. Some feared that the president who embraced the Birther conspiracy theory about President Obama, referred to African nations as “s***hole countries,” told native-born congresswomen to “go back where they came from,” and declared, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” and so on would alienate these demographics from the GOP for a generation.
Regardless of whether or not you consider Trump to be sexist, racist, xenophobic and the rest . . . clearly, Trump did not ruin his or the party’s support among women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, lesbians, and other minority groups. So far, the evidence is that he slightly expanded the party’s share of the vote among these demographics.
One other fascinating oddity in the 2020 exit poll: 12 percent of Biden voters responded that Biden did NOT have the physical and mental health needed to serve effectively as president, and 5 percent of Trump voters said Trump did not have the physical and mental health needed to serve effectively as president, either.