In Wisconsin, the gender math flipped: Trump fared better with women than Clinton did with men.
For all the supposed failure of polling and punditry in this post-Trump landscape, the last Marquette Poll, released on Nov. 2, actually came pretty close to the final tally in Wisconsin, 48-47, favoring Trump, if you take all the wiggle room (6 percent from the undecideds plus an extra 2 percent from third party candidates) and award it to the Republican candidate. Yea, from the howling vortex of midwestern electoral uncertainty, Trump’s victory emerged, stunningly well-buttressed and titanic in size. In Wisconsin, he didn’t win by much, 47.9-46.9, but he swept the state’s swing areas and toppled Racine and Kenosha, both of which went to Obama in 2012.
In the Fox Valley-Green Bay corridor, he won all three of the big counties, Brown, Outagamie, and Winnebago, doing slightly better than Mitt Romney in 2012. In that year, Obama took Winnebago and several rural counties in southwestern Wisconsin, all of which went to Trump on Tuesday. As in other states, he dominated in rural areas, pushing the wall of blue back to the university-containing counties, such as Eau Claire, Portage and La Crosse. As expected, Dane County (and environs) and Milwaukee County became the largest bowls of blue, with the latter delivering two-thirds of its votes to Clinton, the same as cast for Obama in 2012. Romney did slightly better, 32 percent, compared to Trump’s 29 percent.
Who are Wisconsin’s Trump voters, and where did they all come from? First of all, there was a major gender gap in this election, and it ended up helping Trump more than hurting him. According to exit polls, the Republican nominee did better with women in the state (44 percent of his voters were female) than Clinton did with men (only 39 percent of hers were male).
People don’t talk as much about “the independents” these days, but they swung for Trump 51-38, according to the polls. When it came to education, Trump dominated in every stratum except for people with an undergraduate or graduate degree, where Clinton led. And despite a long campaign in which descriptions of immoral, or downright criminal, behavior became a daily occurrence, people who identify as religious tended to favor Trump.
His voters named Terrorism and Immigration as their top issues; hers pointed to the Economy and Foreign Policy.
A deep skepticism in Trump’s ability to lead the country comes through even in the responses of his voters. Only 25 percent agreed that he “has good judgment,” and only 7 percent said he “has the right experience.” The metaphor of Trump as a weapon to be hurled against the establishment holds since 84 percent of his voters said he “can bring needed change” to the country. Only 12 percent of Clinton’s voters felt the same way about her.