Half Of America Didn't Vote. Those Votes Probably Decided The Election

Still trying to wrap your head around how Trump won even though Hillary Clinton had the most votes? Maybe this will help.

Trump Clinton

In a horrific turn of events, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, leaving millions of people not just in the United States, but around the whole world, shocked.

But exactly how did he manage to beat Hillary Clinton?

Obviously, the polls were a massive fail, and one of the likely reasons for that is the pollsters misjudged the composition of electorate (seeing that almost half of America did not show up to vote, this could be true).

Almost half (46.6 percent) of the 231,556,622 eligible voters did not cast their votes (for perhaps the most important election of their lives) according to the numbers at the United States Election Project.

25.6 percent voted for Hillary Clinton, 25.5 percent voted for Donald Trump and the rest voted for third party candidates.

Meanwhile, compared historically, Republican votes were down slightly from 2012 and 2016 elections. However, the difference in the Democratic vote is massive and many people are blaming the Democrats for not showing up.



But really, it may not all be the voters fault. The “amended” Voting Rights Act resulted in new voter ID requirements and closing or relocation of about 868 polling sites. Additionally, many people experienced voter intimidation.

Clinton also just barely squeezed in a win in the popular vote segment. Out of the people who did manage to vote, 47.7 percent (59,680,035) voted for Clinton and 47.5 percent (59,479,278) voted for Trump. As compared to the elections of 2008 in which Obama had a lead of almost 10 million against John McCain and of 2012 in which he had a lead of 5 million against Mitt Romney, Clinton seemed to have just won by the skin of her teeth.

As far as race and gender are concerned, 63 percent of white men and 52 percent of white women pushed Trump to the top. Hillary Clinton was able to bag the black demographic but did not get as many Latin votes as some expected.


Trump actually did 2 points better than Mitt Romney among Latin Americans and 5 points better with the African American community.

Clinton got millennials to vote for her but not as much as Obama did when he was running against Romney.

As far as Trump was concerned, he had a huge majority of the evangelical votes.


The scales ultimately tilted in Trump’s favor even though Clinton won the popular vote, thanks to the Electoral College. Trump led Clinton 279 to 218, and thus fulfilled the 270 electors requirement.

So does that mean your vote means nothing? That’s not entirely true.

Perhaps if the gap in their votes were higher, maybe things would have turned out differently (after all, in practice, the electors in the Electoral College are pledged to cast their vote in accordance to popular vote).

The results were certainly not what many of us were expecting and it’s safe to bet a Trump presidency will be just as predictable.

Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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