|District of Columbia||(5)|
Notice the similarities between the map above and this one, which shows Trump's electoral performance relative to pre-election polling. The states where Trump and Hillary beat polling
expectations tend to be the same places they beat their parties' 2012 candidates. The polls tended to assume that 2016 would look like 2012, but it didn't.
In other words, the primary failing of polling organizations--beyond their systematic oversampling of Democrats--was their refusal to grasp the political realignment that characterized the 2016 presidential election.
The oft-commented upon east-west divide--or more precisely, northeast-southwest divide--is salient. Trump's biggest relative gains came in the upper Midwest.
In the South the changes from 2012 were quite modest in the general election. The upper Midwest and even the Northeast shifted more dramatically.
However, the South is the area of the country where race and partisanship are most strongly correlated. The interesting dynamic here took place in the primaries, where not only did Trump dominate, but where his domination came as the biggest shock to the political and punditry classes.
The South, with an assist from Yankeedom, gave Trump the nomination; the Upper Midwest gave him the presidency.
On one hand, the Texas outcome is a worrisome one in an election that was otherwise almost universally good for Republicans. Trump's margin of victory was narrower in Texas than it was in Iowa, a blueish-purple state.
On the other hand, while I've previously warned that when Texas flips blue the GOP will be utterly finished, that admonition may be evidence for why my nom de guerre is fitting. Assuming no faithless electors, if Trump had lost Texas in November, Hillary would've only won by the narrowest Electoral College margin of victory possible, 270-268.
For those outside the US, a few notes on some of the seeming outliers:
- Utah -- Romney's heavily Mormon home state; additionally, the basket that failed spoiler Evan McMullin (also Mormon) put all of his eggs.
- Massachusetts -- Romney was governor from 2003 to 2006.
- Hawaii -- Obama spent most of his childhood here. While he's allegedly from Kansas, Hawaii and Illinois are his 'home states'.
- Iowa -- While Jeff Sessions was my VP favorite by a mile, one of the silver linings I saw in the Pence pick was that it would virtually guarantee Trump the state of Iowa. Pence was governor of Indiana but he is the archetypal Iowan Republican.