Nov 9, 2016 2:22 pm

Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education

Donald Trump scored an impressive Electoral College victory Nov. 8 after a campaign that revealed deep divisions – by race, gender and education – that were as wide and in some cases wider than in previous elections, according to an analysis of national exit poll data.

Trump won white voters by a margin almost identical to that of Mitt Romney, who lost the popular vote to Barack Obama in 2012. (Trump appears likely to lose the popular vote, which would make him only the fifth elected president to do so and still win office.) White non-Hispanic voters preferred Trump over Clinton by 21 percentage points (58% to 37%), according to the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool. Romney won whites by 20 percentage points in 2012 (59% to 39%). Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Education, Gender, Generations and Age, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Race and Ethnicity, U.S. Political Parties, Voter Demographics, Voter Participation

Nov 9, 2016 1:00 pm

How the faithful voted: A preliminary 2016 analysis

The 2016 presidential exit polling reveals little change in the political alignments of U.S. religious groups. Those who supported Republican candidates in recent elections, such as white born-again or evangelical Christians and white Catholics, strongly supported Donald Trump as well. Groups that traditionally backed Democratic candidates, including religious “nones,” Hispanic Catholics and Jews, were firmly in Hillary Clinton’s corner.

While earlier in the campaign some pundits and others questioned whether the thrice-married Trump would earn the bulk of white evangelical support, fully eight-in-ten self-identified white, born-again/evangelical Christians say they voted for Trump, while just 16% voted for Clinton. Trump’s 65-percentage-point margin of victory among voters in this group – which includes self-described Protestants, as well as Catholics, Mormons and others – matched or exceeded the victory margins of George W. Bush in 2004, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

(For more on the 2016 exit polls, see “Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education” and “Hillary Clinton wins Latino vote, but falls below 2012 support for Obama.” For an explanation of how exit polls are conducted, see “Just how does the general election exit poll work, anyway?” )

White Catholics also supported Trump over Clinton by a wide, 23-point margin (60% to 37%), rivaling Romney’s 19-point victory among those in this group. Trump’s strong support among white Catholics propelled him to a 7-point edge among Catholics overall (52% to 45%) despite the fact that Hispanic Catholics backed Clinton over Trump by a 41-point margin (67% to 26%).  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Catholics and Catholicism, Evangelical Protestants and Evangelicalism, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Vote, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Affiliation, Religiously Unaffiliated, Voter Demographics, Voting Issues

Nov 8, 2016 10:00 am

On Election Day, most voters use electronic or optical-scan ballots

While more than 46 million Americans already have cast their votes this year, 80 million or so more will be voting on Election Day itself. If you’re one of them, there’s a good chance you’ll use one of two basic forms of voting technology to record your choices: optical-scan ballots, in which voters fill in bubbles, complete arrows or make other machine-readable marks on paper ballots; or direct-recording electronic (DRE) devices, such as touch screens, that record votes in computer memory.

Nearly half of registered voters (47%) live in jurisdictions that use only optical-scan as their standard voting system, and about 28% live in DRE-only jurisdictions, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Verified Voting Foundation, a nongovernmental organization concerned with the impact of new voting technologies on election integrity. Another 19% of registered voters live in jurisdictions where both optical-scan and DRE systems are in use.

While those are the two dominant forms of in-person voting, they aren’t the only ones in use. Around 5% of registered voters live in places that conduct elections entirely by mail – the states of Colorado, Oregon and Washington, more than half of the counties in North Dakota, 10 counties in Utah and two in California. And in more than 1,800 small counties, cities and towns – mostly in New England, the Midwest and the intermountain West – more than a million voters still use paper ballots that are counted by hand.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Elections and Campaigns, Technology Adoption

Nov 7, 2016 1:32 pm

America’s political divisions in 5 charts

A presidential campaign season that began early last year reaches its finale on Tuesday, as tens of millions of Americans go to their polling places to vote. As Election Day unfolds, here are five charts that highlight how politically polarized the nation has become — and how most Americans expect it to remain that way, regardless of who wins.

1Even before the current campaign began, the American public had grown more ideologically polarized along partisan lines, as Pew Research Center documented in a major study. As of 2015, 53% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents had political values that were mostly or consistently conservative, up from 31% in 2004. While Republicans have shifted to the right, Democrats have shifted to the left: In 2015, 60% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents had values that were mostly or consistently liberal, compared with 49% in 2004 and just 30% in 1994. In addition to ideological polarization, partisan animosity also increased substantially during this period.

Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: 2016 Election, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Party Affiliation, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties

Nov 7, 2016 7:01 am

Social media causes some users to rethink their views on an issue

Politics on social media – as in real life – isn’t always pretty. In an election season marked by partisan animosity, a recent Pew Research Center report found that many social media users describe their political encounters online as stressful and frustrating, and nearly four-in-ten have taken steps to block or minimize the political content they see from other users.

But despite the downsides, exposure to the range of new ideas and viewpoints that many social media users encounter can occasionally cause people to change their minds about political issues or candidates.

Liberal Democrats more likely to say they've modified views on an issue because of social mediaOverall, 20% of social media users say they’ve modified their stance on a social or political issue because of material they saw on social media, and 17% say social media has helped to change their views about a specific political candidate. Among social media users, Democrats – and liberal Democrats in particular – are a bit more likely than Republicans to say they have ever modified their views on a social or political issue, or on a particular political candidate, because of something they saw on social media. (Democrats and Republicans include independents and nonpartisans who “lean” toward these parties.)

In addition to asking whether they had changed their minds in this way due to social media content, our survey also asked respondents to tell us – in their own words – about a recent time this happened to them. And when we coded their answers, we found a number of distinct themes that emerged in the issues that came to mind.  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Issue Priorities, Social Media

Nov 5, 2016 8:28 am

A gender gap in views of Hillary Clinton, even among her supporters

Hillary Clinton is hoping to make history on Tuesday by being elected the nation’s first woman president. While the impact of Clinton’s gender on her candidacy is viewed very differently by her supporters and voters who back Donald Trump, there also is a gender gap among Clinton’s supporters.

Half of Clinton supporters think she is being held to a higher standard than past presidential candidates because she is a woman; just 11% of Trump supporters say the same, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Oct. 20-25.

But women who back Clinton are far more likely than her male supporters to say she is being held to a higher standard. A majority of women who back Clinton (57%) express this view, compared with 34% who say her gender is not a factor.

Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Gender, Generations and Age, Political Attitudes and Values, U.S. Political Figures, Voting Issues

Nov 4, 2016 12:03 pm

Majorities of women, men say Trump has no respect for women

As the 2016 election enters its final days, there are substantial differences in the level of respect voters think Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have for different groups in American society, and some of the widest gaps are on women, blacks and Hispanics.

About three-quarters of registered voters (76%) say Clinton has a great deal or fair amount of respect for women, while just half as many (38%) say this about Trump, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Oct. 20-25. A majority of voters (60%) say Trump has little or no respect for women, including 36% who say he has no respect at all for women.

Roughly equal shares of women (62%) and men (58%) say Trump has little or no respect for women, but women are far more likely to say he has no respect at all: 43% say this, compared with 29% of men. There are no significant gender differences in perceptions of Clinton’s respect for women.

Both Clinton and Trump are seen by majorities of voters as having a great deal or fair amount of respect for men, but larger shares say this about Trump (82% for Trump, 65% for Clinton).  Read More

Topics: 2016 Election, Demographics, Race and Ethnicity, Voter Demographics, Voting Issues

Nov 4, 2016 10:29 am

The most and least educated U.S. religious groups

Attainment of a four-year college degree in the United States, often regarded as a key asset for economic success, varies by race and gender. But the share of people completing a college education also differs by religion, with members of some faith groups much more educated, on average, than others.

By far, Hindus and Unitarian Universalists have among the largest share of those with a college degree – 77% and 67% respectively. Roughly six-in-ten Jews (59%) have college degrees, as do similar shares in both the Anglican church (59%) and the Episcopal Church (56%).

These groups are among the top of a list of 30 U.S. religious groups ranked by educational attainment based on data from our 2014 Religious Landscape StudyRead More

Topics: College, Education, Income, Religious Affiliation

Nov 3, 2016 2:31 pm

Women drive increase in Democratic support for legal abortion

Public support for legal abortion, while little changed from earlier this year, is as high as it has been in two decades. And the share of Democrats saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases has risen since earlier this year – primarily driven by a striking rise in support among Democratic women.

A majority of the public says abortion should be legal in all or most cases (59%), while 37% say abortion should be illegal in at least most cases, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week. Support for legal abortion has fluctuated in recent years, but is at its highest level since 1995.

Most Republicans continue to be opposed to legal abortion, and their views have remained relatively stable in recent years. Currently, 62% of Republicans say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while 34% think it should be legal in at least most cases.

Read More

Topics: Abortion, Gender, Political Issue Priorities, Political Party Affiliation, Political Polarization, U.S. Political Parties

Nov 3, 2016 2:15 pm

5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has stabilized in recent years after decades of rapid growth. But the origin countries of unauthorized immigrants have shifted, with the number from Mexico declining since 2009 and the number from elsewhere rising, according to the latest Pew Research Center estimates.

Here are five facts about the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S.

1There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, a total unchanged from 2009 and accounting for 3.5% of the nation’s population. The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million, when this group was 4% of the U.S. population.

Read More

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Immigration, Immigration Trends, Migration, Unauthorized Immigration