A Look Back At The 2016 Presidential Election [Opinion]

Ballot showing the names of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

The subject of the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been discussed at length, and to a certain extent, ad nauseam. People from all around the world have weighed in on television and through some form or another of social media. However, an online exit poll presented some interesting statistics regarding the citizens of this country and which candidate the people voted for. Estimates show more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election, nearly breaking even with the turnout rate set during the last presidential election in 2012.

When it comes to the issue of gender, records show that 53 percent of all voters this past November were female. Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton received the majority of the overall female vote, beating Donald Trump by obtaining 54 percent of the female vote, while Trump took in 41 percent. The fact that Hillary Clinton won this portion of the vote does not surprise me at all. Donald Trump made his share of disparaging remarks about women during his campaign, and so it is understandable why many would vote against him here. To make matters worse for him, there was even an audio recording of Trump from 2005 in which he made graphic comments about how he likes to behave around women.

So, the issue of why Hillary would win this vote goes deeper and has more depth than just some kind of movement by females across the country to finally have a woman in the White House. The only thing that surprises me about this is that the margin of victory for Hillary was only 13 percent. I figured Hillary would have won by a much wider margin, but some may have contended that despite everything that he did during his campaign, Trump was still the lesser of two evils, as it is well known now that Hillary had been involved in some possibly illegal activity that put her under investigation while she was running for president.

Hillary Clinton supporters coming to grips with the results of the 2016 election

Regarding the subject of age, the results were just as telling. People aged 18-39 tended to favor Hillary Clinton. Approximately 54 percent of all voters in this age range wanted Hillary to become the next president, while the crowd that was aged 40 or older leaned more toward Donald Trump, although not by much. People aged 40-49 made up about 19 percent of voters and voted 49-46 percent in favor of Trump. Ages 50-64 made up 30 percent of the voters and favored Trump by 8 percentage points, 52-44. Finally, those 65 and older favored Trump by 7 percent, 52-45, and made up 16 percent of the vote.

Many people, including myself, believed that Donald Trump won more votes from some of the older people simply because those people frequently tend to have less liberal and more conservative views. But there is more to it than that. Whatever it was that Hillary may or may not have been involved in that hampered her campaign was something that many people from the 18-39 age group could have easily ignored and simply gone with her because she was the more popular candidate and her campaign radiated more positivity, at least outwardly, more so than Trump’s.

However, while many people aged 40 and over tend to be more conservative, it is also a fact that they are better read and more thorough with serious political issues than younger folks. So, perhaps they read a lot into Hillary’s issues and ultimately decided to vote against her.

Another factor that appeared to have a negative effect on Hillary Clinton’s campaign was the lack of overall voters in the country, in particular in big cities. Robert Alexander, a political science professor at Ohio Northern University, said many of the factors that led to Trump’s victory also played out in Ohio, a crucial swing state. He believed the poor turnout in large cities hurt Hillary’s chances of winning.

“You saw turnout spike in more rural counties,” Alexander said.

“If you take a look at a lot of the larger cities you did see depressed turnout there. It certainly was more consequential for Hillary Clinton than it was for Trump.”

Perhaps, the most intriguing statistic in all of this is that in the 18-39 age group, only 26 percent of Americans even bothered voting. This feeds into the growing perception that people of this generation simply don’t care. Or would rather spend time being unproductive, whether it be partying or just lounging around on social media, than spend time getting involved in this country’s serious issues.

When reading about college graduates and non-college graduates, I found that voters were pretty well split down the middle in terms of which candidate they preferred. Hillary held an advantage of 52 percent to 44 percent with college graduates, and Trump won the overall vote when it came to non-graduates by 9 percent, 51-42. The numbers may have been close but they still tell a story. To me, Hillary most likely won the favor of college graduates because there tends to be a more liberal mindset among those who are well-educated, in particular the more recent college graduates,which I have to believe strongly supported Hillary. Donald won the non-graduate end of things in all likelihood because a good number of the less-educated tend to have more traditionalist views on such matters like having a dominant male authority figure and a conservative philosophy on life and politics.

[Featured Image by Patrick Sison/AP Images]