The first exit polls from the 2016 presidential election are in, and it looks very good for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the all-important battleground states.
With tens of millions of voters hitting the polls on Tuesday and the margin expected to be close, many people are looking to exit polling to see an early glimpse of the outcome. Those numbers are now in, and it looks good for those backing Hillary Clinton.
ABC News published its exit polls late on Election Day afternoon, and it tilts heavily toward Clinton. The preliminary exit polling found that 61 percent of voters said they see Donald Trump unfavorably compared to 54 percent for Hillary Clinton.
That is not the only margin where Clinton beats Donald Trump. She also rated better on who voters see as honest and trustworthy, though neither candidate fared particularly well. A total of 65 percent of people said Trump is not honest, while 59 percent said the same of Clinton.
But the presidential election exit polls have other positive signs for Hillary Clinton.
“Clinton does better, Trump less well, on both qualifications and temperament. Fifty-three percent of voters say she’s qualified for office and 56 percent feel she has the right personality and temperament for the job. Those decline to 37 percent and 34 percent for Trump, respectively, in these preliminary exit poll results.”
ABC News also released exit polling from battleground states that is also filled with good news for Hillary Clinton. In Florida, the share of non-white voters turning out increased by six percentage points from 2012 while voters overall appear to reject Donald Trump’s hard line on immigration.
“Fifty-nine percent of voters in preliminary exit poll results in Florida say immigrants make the country better rather than worse,” the report noted. “Seventy percent support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”
Other presidential election exit polls show a public weary of the campaign and depressed about the state of American politics. The Morning Consult/POLITICO exit poll found that the vast majority of people — 85 percent in all — “just want it to be over.”
That exit poll did find what could be a good sign for Donald Trump, as voters more closely align with the way he has presented himself.
“Asked what characteristic is most important for the next president, 36 percent of voters say they want a ‘strong leader,’ 29 percent want ‘a vision for the future,’ 16 percent want someone who ‘cares about people like me’ and another 16 percent said they want someone who ‘shares my values.’
“The percentage of voters thus far who say they want a strong leader – a characterization Donald Trump’s team made central to his campaign – is twice the percentage who said they were looking for a strong leader in the 2012 National Election Pool exit poll.”
There are some other good signs for Donald Trump across other exit polls, including a high number of people saying they believe the political system is rigged — a common theme for Trump’s campaign. Others show a high number of voters uncomfortable with Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
But even as the 2016 election exit polls start to trickle out, experts warn not to look too closely into the results. Exit polling as it relates to the actual final vote is notoriously inaccurate, and a misinterpretation of exit polling led many to believe that the results of the Democratic primaries could have been rigged against Bernie Sanders. It was instead the result of an exit polling system that is far from perfect, pollsters pointed out.
The early exits are here. Two big things to remember:— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 8, 2016
--early exit polls are not very good.
--final exit polls are not very good.
But those hoping to find exit polls from the 2016 presidential election that give a glimpse of actual voting totals will have to wait. The pollsters are releasing some demographic data and general questions on candidate qualities throughout the day on Election Day, but won’t be releasing any data that directly characterizes the voting results until after the polls have closed, POLITICO noted.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]