It’s the question almost everyone you know is asking: how the fuck did this happen? How did America elect a fascist as Leader of the Free World?
It’ll take a bit for rigorous voter data to be collated by America’s Census Bureau but, in the meantime, an exit poll by Edison Research – based on a national survey of 24,537 voters – offers early insights into the demographics that took Donald Trump to victory.
And one thing is very clear: the election outcome would be very different if millennials had it their way; more than half of 18 to 29-year-olds (55%) who took part in a national exit poll voted for Hillary Clinton, while just 37% voted to support Trump’s backwards ‘Make America Great Again’ ideology.
It was predominantly older – and white – voters brought home victory for Trump; 42% of 30 to 44-year-olds voted for him, along with 53% of over 45 and over 65-year-old voters.
White respondents of all ages, both men and women, were pro-Republican: an estimated 70% of voters were white and, of these, a massive 58% backed Trump.
This particular exit poll relies on a small sample of the nearly 219 million Yanks who registered to vote and it’s not perfect, in part because it’s based on human survey-takers at pre-selected precincts.
But the fact that millennials – the voices and voters of the future – balked at Trump’s xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric at the polling booths is being held up as a beacon of hope by many.
This tweet from Eliza Byard, the exec director of a US LGBT organisation, has gone insanely viral because the data speaks to a brighter future (if the US can get through the next four years).
This is how the future voted. This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes. We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision. pic.twitter.com/ivuXrar869
— Eliza Byard (@EByard) November 9, 2016
The image doesn’t actually depict quite how millennials voted; the screenshot she shared was from a SurveyMonkey interactive map that changed over time, and the data was a prediction of how things would turn out on November 8, not what actually eventuated.
The map from Election Day reflects *slightly* lower numbers of support for Hillary but it still stands that millennials are overwhelmingly anti-Trump.
At the very least, it’s something to buoy us as the world steps into a time of fear and uncertainty – especially when Trump formally takes office at an official White House ceremony in January 2017.