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The Democrats’ long road to ruin (2016 US election breakdown, part 3)

The Democrats’ long road to ruin (2016 US election breakdown, part 3)

It’s been a year since the election of Donald Trump, and the Democrats are only now returning from the hidey-hole they’ve been in for the past few months, but only partially. This is not merely because they are minorities in both the House of Representative and the Senate and are without the presidency. Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Perez, Keith Ellison, all those that have led the charge against Donald Trump from the moment he won, are being drowned out by media speculation about FBI investigations, mass shootings, sports protests, and celebrity scandals. A much vaunted change of strategy from the Democrats in July introducing an economic ‘Better Deal’ has gone absolutely nowhere, and was always a little suspicious, because the leadership of the Democratic Party is still yet to give any real indication that they properly understand why they lost the 2016 election.

Let’s see if we can figure it out for them.

Natan Dvir/Polaris/Newscom

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Breaking down the results of the 2016 US presidential election (part two)

Breaking down the results of the 2016 US presidential election (part two)

In part one of our election review, we looked at the results of the election by state and region, and what they indicated for the Democrats, Republicans and third parties. In this second part, we will be looking more closely at some of the states that mattered, to discover exactly where it was that Trump won the election.

States are in alphabetical order. Maps are courtesy of the New York Times, voting figures are from the respective state electoral commission.

California

Dem – 8,753,788 (+899,503)
Rep – 4,483,810 (-356,148)
Oth – 943,997 (+599,693)

California stands out at this election for how unrepresentative it is of the election as a whole. It is one of only five states (plus D.C.) in which the Democrats gained votes and the Republicans lost votes, and the only of those states in which the Democratic gain was over 100,000 votes.

Unsurprisingly, the shift in the votes predominately came from the major urban centres. Amongst the inner-city counties of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara, the blue vote increased by 485,727, more than half of Clinton’s gains in California. There was also some increase in her vote in suburban/coastal northern California, with a collective increase of 146,277 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo Counties. But it’s in southern and eastern California, traditionally stronger Republican territory, where Clinton made the most impressive gains. Removing San Diego and Los Angeles, her vote increased in SoCal by 236,937, including flipping Orange County with a 180,000 vote turnaround.

Donald Trump’s unpopularity in the OC is, I think, indicative of the enormous political shift that has occurred, as Orange County has not voted Democrat since 1936. It is reflective of both a cultural shift that has occurred within the county, and indeed across the other coastal counties, and also of a political shift that has occurred within the Republican Party, which is not appealing to these counties like, say, Mitt Romney was. On the other hand, Trump’s vote in Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino actually increased, while his overall vote in the counties he won was more or less exactly the same as it was in 2012. It was in the urban centres, where Clinton and the third parties gained votes, that his losses occurred, presumably due to the aforementioned cultural and political shifts.

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