One that the biggest obstacles facing those who look for to recognize U.S. Vote is establishing an accurate portrait of the American electorate and also the options made by various kinds that voters. Obtaining specific data ~ above how civilization voted is difficult for a variety of reasons.

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Surveys conducted prior to an election can overstate – or understate – the likelihood of part voters come vote. Depending upon when a survey is conducted, voters might readjust their preferences prior to Election Day. Surveys carried out after one election have the right to be affected by errors stemming native respondents’ recall, either because that whom lock voted because that or whether they voted in ~ all. Even the distinct surveys performed by major news organizations on election Day – the “exit polls” – face obstacles from refusals come participate and also from the truth that a sizable minority of voters actually vote before Election Day and also must it is in interviewed using traditional surveys beforehand.

This report introduce a new approach because that looking at the electorate in the 2016 basic election: corresponding members that Pew study Center’s nationally representative American patterns Panel come voter records to develop a dataset of proved voters.

See also: A demographic Profile of 2018 Midterm Voters

The analysis in this report provides post-election inspection reports that 2016 vote preferences (conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 12, 2016) among those that were identified as having voted using main voting records. These voter file records become available in the months after the election. (For more details, watch “Methodology.”) among these proved voters, the in its entirety vote preference mirrors the choice results an extremely closely: 48% reported voting because that Hillary Clinton and also 45% because that Donald Trump; by comparison, the official nationwide vote tally was 48% for Clinton, 46% because that Trump.

This data source allows researchers to take a thorough look at the voting preferences of Americans throughout a variety of demographic traits and also characteristics. The joins sources already accessible – consisting of the nationwide Election Pool departure polls, the American nationwide Election Studies and the Current populace Survey’s Voting and Registration supplement – in hopes of help researchers continue to filter their understanding of the 2016 election and also electorate, and address complex questions such as the role of race and also education in 2016 candidate preferences.

It reaffirms many of the key findings about how different groups voted – and also the composition of the electorate – that arised from post-election analyses based upon other surveys. Regular with other analyses and past elections, race was strongly associated with voting preference in 2016. But there room some differences as well. Because that instance, the wide educational divisions amongst white voters viewed in other surveys room even much more striking in this data.

Among validated voters in 2016, vast gap amongst whites through education

Overall, whites v a four-year college level or an ext education comprised 30% of every validated voters. Amongst these voters, far an ext (55%) said they voted for Clinton than for trumped (38%). Among the much larger group of white voters who had not completed university (44% of all voters), Trump won by more than two-to-one (64% come 28%).

There additionally were large differences in voter choices by gender, age and also marital status. Ladies were 13 percent points much more likely than males to have voted for Clinton (54% amongst women, 41% amongst men). The gender void was particularly big among validated voter younger 보다 50. In this group, 63% that women claimed they voted for Clinton, contrasted with simply 43% of men. Amongst voters eras 50 and older, the gender void in support for Clinton was much narrower (48% vs. 40%).

About half (52%) that validated voter were married; among them, Trump had actually a 55% come 39% majority. Amongst unmarried voters, Clinton led by a comparable margin (58% come 34%).

Just 13% of validated voters in 2016 were younger than 30. Voters in this age group reported voting for Clinton end Trump by a margin of 58% to 28%, through 14% supporting among the third-party candidates. Among voters periods 30 to 49, 51% sustained Clinton and 40% favored Trump. Trump had actually an benefit among 50- come 64-year-old voter (51% come 45%) and those 65 and also older (53% to 44%).

For a detailed breakdown of the composition of the 2016 electorate and also voting preferences among a wide range of subgroups the voters, view Appendix. For the survey methodology and details on how survey respondents were matched to voter records, view “Methodology.”

2016 poll by party and also ideology

Voter selection and party affiliation were nearly synonymous. Republican validated voter reported choosing Trump by a margin that 92% to 4%, if Democrats supported Clinton by 94% come 5%. The roughly one-third (34%) of the electorate who established as elevation or with an additional party separated their votes about evenly (43% Trump, 42% Clinton).

Similarly, voting was strongly correlated with ideological consistency, based on a scale composed that 10 political values – including opinions top top race, homosexuality, the environment, international policy and also the social security net. Respondent are put into 5 categories ranging from “consistently conservative” come “consistently liberal.” (For more, view “The Partisan division on Political worths Grows also Wider.”)

Virtually all validated voter with repeatedly liberal values voted for Clinton end Trump (95% to 2%), while virtually all those with continuously conservative worths went because that Trump (98% to less than 1% for Clinton). Those who hosted conservative see on most political values (“mostly conservative”) favored trump card by 87% come 7%, while Clinton received the support of rather fewer among those who were “mostly liberal” (78%-13%). Among the almost one-third of voter whose ideological profile to be mixed, the poll was split (48% Trump, 42% Clinton).

Religious affiliation and also attendance

As in vault elections, voters in 2016 to be sharply split along religious lines. Protestants constituted about half of the electorate and reported voting because that Trump over Clinton by a 56% come 39% margin. Catholics were an ext evenly divided; 52% report voting because that Trump, while 44% stated they backed Clinton. Conversely, a solid bulk of the religiously unaffiliated – atheists, agnostics and those who said their faith was “nothing in particular” – claimed they voted for Clinton (65%) over Trump (24%).

Within the good news tradition, voter were split by race and evangelicalism. White evangelical Protestants, who comprised one the end of every 5 voters, consistently have been amongst the the strongest supporters of Republican candidates and supported trumped by a 77% to 16% margin.

This is almost identical come the 78% to 16% advantage that Mitt Romney organized over Barack Obama among white evangelicals in Pew Research facility polling ~ above the eve of the 2012 presidential election.

Among white mainline Protestants (15% of voter overall) 57% said they voted because that Trump and 37% reported voting for Clinton. Clinton winner overwhelmingly among black Protestants (96% vs. 3% because that Trump).

White non-Hispanic Catholics sustained Trump through a proportion of around two-to-one (64% come 31%), while spain Catholics favored Clinton by an even larger 78% to 19% margin.

Among every voters, those that reported attending services at the very least weekly favored trump card by a margin the 58% come 36%; the margin was similar among those who claimed they attended as soon as or double a month (60% come 38%). Those that reported attending services a couple of times a year or hardly ever were divided; 51% sustained Clinton and 42% sustained Trump. Amongst the nearly one-quarter of voters (23%) who stated they never attend spiritual services, Clinton led trump card by 61% to 3o%.

Demographic and also political profiles of Clinton and also Trump voters

As the sample of the votes implies, the coalitions that sustained the two significant party nominees were very different demographically. These distinctions mirror the vast changes in the compositions the the 2 parties: The Republican and also Democratic coalitions are more dissimilar demographically than at any allude in the past two decades.

In 2016, a 61% bulk of those who said they voted for Clinton were women, if Trump voters were an ext evenly divided between men and women. White skin - man constituted virtually nine-in-ten (88%) that Trump’s supporters, compared with a smaller bulk (60%) that voted for Clinton. Clinton’s voters also were younger 보다 Trump’s on median (48% to be younger than 50, contrasted with 35% because that Trump).


Among Clinton voters, 43% to be college graduates, contrasted with 29% of trump voters. And also while non-college whites made up a majority of Trump’s voters (63%), they constituted only around a quarter of Clinton’s (26%).

About a third of Clinton voter (32%) stayed in urban areas, versus just 12% among Trump voters. By contrast, 35% of trump voters claimed they to be from a rural area; among Clinton voters, 19% stayed in a countryside community.

The religious profile that the 2 candidates’ voters also differed considerably. Around a third of Clinton voters (35%) were religiously unaffiliated, together were simply 14% of trump voters. White evangelical voters comprised a much greater share the Trump’s voters (34%) than Clinton’s (7%). One-in-five Trump voter (20%) to be white non-Hispanic Catholics, compared with simply 9% of Clinton voters. And also black Protestants to be 14% that Clintons supporters, while virtually no black Protestants in the inspection reported voting for Trump.

How did 2016 voters and also nonvoters compare?

The data also administer a file of voting-eligible nonvoters. Four-in-ten Americans that were standard to poll did not carry out so in 2016. There space striking demographic differences in between voters and also nonvoters, and far-reaching political distinctions as well. Contrasted with validated voters, nonvoters were much more likely to be younger, less educated, much less affluent and nonwhite. And nonvoters were much much more Democratic.

Among members of the panel that were categorized together nonvoters, 37% to express a choice for Hillary Clinton, 30% because that Donald Trump and 9% for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein; 14% preferred one more candidate or declined to to express a preference. Party affiliation among nonvoters skewed even an ext Democratic 보다 did candidate preferences. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents comprised a 55% majority of nonvoters; about four-in-ten (41%) nonvoters were Republicans and also Republican leaners. Voter were split nearly evenly between Democrats and Democratic leaners (51%) and Republicans and also Republican leaners (48%).

While nonvoters were much less likely 보다 voters to align through the GOP, the photo was less clear with respect come ideology. Owing in part to the propensity of nonvoters to it is in politically disengaged much more generally, there room far more nonvoters than voters who loss into the “mixed” group on the ideological consistency scale. Among nonvoters who host a set of political values through a unique ideological orientation, those with usually liberal worths (30% of all nonvoters) substantially outnumbered those with usually conservative values (18%).

Voters were much much more highly educated than nonvoters. Just 16% of nonvoters to be college graduates, compared with 37% of voters. Adult with just a high school education constituted fifty percent (51%) of nonvoters, compared with 30% among voters. White skin - man without a college degree comprised 43% of nonvoters, about the same as amongst voters (44%). Yet nonwhites without a college degree were far more numerous among nonvoters (at 42%) 보다 they were among voters (19%).

There additionally were large income differences in between voters and also nonvoters. Much more than fifty percent (56%) the nonvoters reported yearly family incomes under $30,000. Amongst voters, simply 28% fell into this income category.

CORRECTION (October 3, 2019): The text of the report has actually been edited to exactly an error in the report vote an option of non-Hispanic white mainline Protestants, 57% of who voted because that Donald trump vs. 37% because that Hillary Clinton. The graphics and tables to be unaffected by this error.

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CORRECTION: (August 9, 2018): In the chart “Among validated voter in 2016, wide gap amongst whites through education,” the “share that electorate” column has actually been edited to reflect update percentages for gender by gyeongju to correct for a data tabulation error. Changes did not impact the report’s substantive findings. The associated detailed tables have additionally been update accordingly.