Preliminary data from the Fox News Voter Analysis sheds light on the key themes underlying the election
The presidential contest stretched into the early hours of the morning without a clear winner, as a deeply divided nation watched anxiously for ballots to be counted in several battleground states.
President Donald Trump received strong support from his base and chipped into Democratic margins among nonwhite voters to chalk up a string of wins in key swing states.
At the same time, former Vice President Joe Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 margins with seniors, won college-educated Whites, and showed enough strength in the suburbs to keep his pathway to victory open.
For many voters, Biden was able to successfully position himself as a leader capable of uniting a fractured country. Trump, on the other hand, continued to rely on his persona as the “Disruptor-in-Chief,” appealing to voters who appreciated his ability to shake up politics and wanted him to continue the job.
Preliminary data from the Fox News Voter Analysis, a survey of more than 110,000 voters nation-wide, sheds light on the key themes underlying the election and the demographics of each candidate’s support.
Roughly 100 million voters were cast before Election Day, shattering previous records – and turnout was on track to easily surpass the 135 million votes cast in 2016. Fully 15 percent of voters who cast a ballot this year said they did not vote four years ago.
Trump won among those who cast their votes on Election Day by 31 points. Those who voted early in-person split almost even (Trump +3). Mail-in voters went heavily for Biden (+36) – and the ongoing process of counting these ballots increased the level of uncertainty over the course of the night.
Voters divided sharply by gender, education, and type of community. Women backed Biden by 12 percentage points, while men backed the president by 4 points. College graduates went for Biden (+17 points), noncollege voters went for Trump (+2 points). Biden won city dwellers (+34 points), while Trump won rural areas (+21 points).
Biden’s strongest groups included those that typically tilt heavily Democratic, including Black voters, liberals, urban residents, and voters under age 30.
Trump once again ran up the score with his base, particularly White evangelicals, rural voters, Whites without a college degree, and conservatives.
Trump made gains with Hispanic voters, garnering 34 percent compared to 28 percent in 2016 (references to 2016 data throughout are based on Pew Research Center’s validated voter data).
At the same time, Biden was able to close the gap among seniors – a group that went for Trump by 9 points four years ago.