Exit Polls Analysis: How Donald Trump Won

With Donald Trump making history Wednesday morning by pulling off one of the most improbable election victories in recent memory, there are a number of important keys that factored into the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star's successful campaign for the Oval Office.

As Trump has campaigned on the premise that he is a political novice with the goal of breaking up the political establishment to restore greatness to America through opposing international trade agreements, being tough on immigration and nominating constitutionalists to the Supreme Court, exit polling suggests that Trump's campaign rhetoric has struck a chord with a good chunk of the American population expressing concerns over the direction of the country and the prospect of the American economy.

CNN's exit polling, which is based on interviews of at least 24,537 voters in 28 states across the nation, shows that a good portion of the American voters didn't think either Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were qualified to be president and most of them still voted for Trump.

People who were disgusted with their options voted for Trump

According to the CNN exit poll, 14 percent of the respondents believed that "neither" Trump nor Clinton were "qualified" to serve as president. Among those who expressed such a view, 69 percent of them voted for Trump, while only 15 percent of them voted for Clinton.

Additionally, 14 percent of the respondents said that neither Trump nor Clinton has the "right temperament" to be president. Of those voters, 71 percent voted for Trump, while only 12 percent voted for Clinton.

Nearly half of voters bothered "a lot" by Clinton's email scandal

According to CNN's exit poll, 45 percent of the voters said that Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state bothered them "a lot." Of those voters, 87% percent said they voted for Trump, while only 7 percent of them said they cast ballots for Clinton

Of the 63 percent of voters who broadly said that Clinton's use of a private email server did bother them, 70 percent of them said they voted for Trump, while only 24 percent of them said they voted for Clinton.

For comparison, 70 percent of respondents said that Trump's treatment of women bothered them and only 65 percent of those voters said they voted for Clinton, while 29 percent said they voted for Trump.

Less minority support for Clinton

The only major racial demographic that Trump was able to win was white people.

According to CNN's exit poll, 70 percent of the respondents white white. Of the white voters, 58 percent of them said they voted for Trump, while 39 percent of white voters voted for Clinton. Trump's result actually represents a slight one-percentage-point decrease compared to white voters who voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

Eighty-eight percent of the black respondents and 65 percent of the Latino respondents said they voted for Clinton, compared to the 93 percent of black voters and 71 percent of Latino voters who reported voting for Obama in 2012.

As some were expecting Trump to become the first Republican nominee in 60 years to lose the majority of the white college-educated vote, the exit polling finds that 49 percent of white college graduates voted for Trump and 45 percent of them said they voted for Clinton.

As predicted, Trump won among non-college-educated whites, which accounted for 34 percent of the exit poll respondents. Sixty-seven percent of the non-college-educated whites said they voted for Trump, while 28 percent of them voted for Clinton.

 

Trump won Obama's "Rust Belt" states

A large factor behind Trump's victory is the fact that he was able to win key "Rust Belt" states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which all helped propel Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012. Considering this, it seems that Trump's promises to bring manufacturing jobs back to America from overseas seems to have resonated with voters in those states, and in other states like North Carolina.

According to the CNN exit poll, 63 percent of voters said that they have a "poor," rather than "good," view the U.S. economy. Of those voters, 63 percent of those voters said that they voted for Trump, while only 31 percent said they voted for Clinton.

Forty-one percent of the respondents rated the American economy as "not good." Fifty-five percent of those voters said they voted for Trump, while 39 percent of them said they voted for Clinton. Of the 21 percent of the respondents who rated the economy as "poor," 79 percent of them voted for Trump and only 15 percent of them voted for Clinton.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said that they think Trump would better handle the U.S. economy, while 46 percent said Clinton would better handle the economy.

Additionally, CNN reports that exit polling shows "large shares of voters in key rust belt states ... agreed with Trump's view that trade agreements have hurt American workers. And they overwhelmingly supported the billionaire businessman at the ballot box."

Six-in-10 concerned about direction of America

According to the CNN exit poll, over 62 percent of respondents said that the country is on the "wrong track," while 33 percent said that the country is headed in the "right direction." Of the voters who said that the country is on the "wrong track," 69 percent of them voted for Trump and 25 percent of them voted for Clinton.

Religious voters vote for the thrice married misogynist over the abortion queen

According to CNN's exit poll, 60 percent of Protestant voters, 52 percent of Catholics and 55 percent of "other Christian" voters said they voted for Trump, while 71 percent of Jews said they voted for Clinton.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said they were either white born-again or white evangelical Christians. Of those voters, 81 percent said they voted for Trump, while only 16 percent of them voted for Clinton.

Trump's 81 percent-mark with white evangelicals marks a two-percentage-point increase in the amount of white born-again Christians who said they voted for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. Clinton's 16-percent mark with white evangelicals represents a five-percentage-point drop in the amount of white born-again Christians who said they voted for Obama in 2012.

As 33 percent of the respondents said that they attend church once per month or more said they voted for Trump. Fifty-four percent of them said they voted for Trump and 42 percent of them said they voted for Clinton.

Clinton was more successful with those voters who said they attend church less than once per month. Sixty-two percent of the voters who said they never attend church said they voted for Clinton.