Though our country has some steep challenges ahead of us regardless of who wins the presidential election tonight, I think it’s safe to say that a majority of us are glad this historically unpopular race is finally coming to an end. With such an unprecedented battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump coming to a close, there are just a few key demographics that will ultimately decide on who the next President of the United States will be.
The upcoming exit polls are expected to show these specified groups in a distinct light, unfortunately showcasing more polarization in an already divided nation. One of the most unique splits of this election lies in the white college educated versus non-college educated demographic split. According to the latest polling data, the divide between these two groups may be the largest its been in at least six elections. This data shows college-educated whites to be nearly split, with a slight Clinton favor, while non-educated whites lean heavily towards Donald Trump.
As for the Hispanic demographic, which is expected to be the biggest deciding factor in this election, an unprecedented number of these voters are expected to vote Clinton. Though the Hispanic population in the US has always had a Democratic bias, their growing population and disdain for Trump’s racially charged rhetoric could give the Dems their largest margin of Hispanic voters since 1976. To give some perspective on this gigantic gap, Mitt Romney received just 27% of the Latino vote last election, the lowest number ever for a Republican candidate. This time around, Donald Trump is expected to receive just 19% of the Hispanic vote, which will likely be his biggest obstacle in the way of getting to the White House.
Another unique expectation that has arisen thanks to the unpopularity of both candidates are split-ticket voters, which are those who vote across party lines. In 2012, only 10% of all voters split their ticket between a president from one party and a Congress member from another. With Republicans and even some Democrats concerned about their presidential option, today’s election might show a major increase in the number of split-ticket voters.
As could be expected in a presidential race between the first female candidate and a misogynistic buffoon, the gender gap between voters is also expected to be the largest in over 50 years. Lastly, exit polls have shown that an increasing number of white, non-college voters have fled the Democratic party and now identify as Republicans. This is especially true of the male portion of that demographic, which has grow 20% in Trump's favor since the early ‘90s.
All in all, these demographics will likely show a major shift due to the divisive and polarizing nature of this election. When all is said and done, regardless of who wins today’s election, we will hopefully be able to come together as a nation and accept that most of us didn’t really want either of these candidates in the first place.