White Voting 2016 Election

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Above is a map of how non-Hispanic white men and women voted in the 2016 presidential election. Only two states voted democratic in every county – Massachusetts and Hawaii. Compare that to several states which voted Republican in every country (such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc). One interesting side note: despite the majority of white people voting Republican in Nevada (in every county) the state voted Democratic as a whole in last year’s election.

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Millennial Voting

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Above is a map displaying how millennials voted in the 2016 election. If only millennials were able to vote, it would have been an overwhelming victory for the Democratic Party: 504 to 23. Demographers William Straus and Neil Howe define ‘Millennials’ as being born between 1982 and 2004 – however, there is not an exact dividing line. Birth years can range between 1983 and 2001 for some demographers, such as Elwood Carlson. What seems to be clear is that as millennials age and become a larger political force, the country may become increasingly democratic in future elections.

Voter Demographics 2016

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Above is a graphic displaying the Republican share of the two-party votes relative to square miles per voter (i.e. population density). As expected, Democrats won a larger fraction of urban areas, on average, while Republicans won more rural areas. Democrats also won a larger share of college graduates, all be it a slim margin 49% to 45%, but won by a substantial margin in both non-white college graduates and the non-white non-college graduate population – 71% and 75% respectively.

Below is a graphic displaying the percentage change in voting behavior for various demographic groups compared to the 2012 election. Trump won a larger percentage of votes in all categories (including Male, White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian) except for Women voters who voted by a 1% larger margin for Hillary than for Obama in 2012.

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Electoral College Vs. US Population

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Hilary Clinton won the popular election 47.7% to 47.4% despite losing the electoral college by a wide margin to Donald Trump. This is only the second time since 1888 that a candidate has won the popular vote, but not the election. This situation has lead some to question if the electoral college system is really the best way to select a president. Liberals claim that it is not fair as large, densely populated states have proportionally less say then less populated rural states that have a minimum 3 electoral votes regardless of population. This claim was interesting, so I decided to investigate further.

Above is a map displaying the relative difference among the states regarding their ‘over representation’ or ‘under representation’ given population. Orange colored bubbles mean the state has a higher fraction of US population than the fraction of electoral college votes. For example, California has 12.2% of US population, yet only 10.2% of electoral college votes. This is also the case for Texas (8.5% of population verse 7% of electoral college) and likewise for all other orange colored states. The size of the bubble signals a larger margin of under representation.

On the other end of the spectrum, the green colored bubbles mean the state has a higher fraction of electoral college votes compared to their fraction of US population. For example, Wyoming has 0.18% of US population yet has 0.56% of the electoral college – that is, 3 votes out of 538. Again the larger the green bubble signals a wider margin between electoral college votes compared to relative population.

The smaller the bubbles, whether green or orange, means that state was very close to proportional representation between the electoral college and population. For example, Washington state had 2.2% of US population and 2.2% of electoral college votes.

Comparing how the 18 most over represented states voted results in 9 Republican and 9 Democratic states. That is, for every rural over represented Republican state like Wyoming, Alaska, and North Dakota – there are an equal number of small over represented Democratic states like Vermont, Washington DC, and Delaware. To claim the election was lost due to under populated Republican states is inaccurate. The election was won in the battle ground, medium sized swing states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – all of whom voted Republican this year instead of Democratic was they did in 2012 and 2008.

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Above is a table of the 18 most over represented states by electoral college votes. The ‘Elect Diff’ column is the difference between the electoral college percentage minus the US population percent the state has. The ‘Demo16’ column is the Democratic vote percentage, ‘Rep16’ is the Republican vote percentage, ‘Other16’ is the sum of third party vote percentage, and ‘D-R Spread’ is the Democratic vote percentage minus the Republican vote percentage.