The 2016 Presidential Vote: A Look Down in the Weeds

If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency — and she took the popular vote by nearly 3 million — the narrative of the 2016 election would be far different. Rather than the storyline being Donald’s Trump triumph in the heartland, with its beleaguered blue-collar workers, the emphasis now would be on the Democrats’ ongoing success in metro America, with its large share of the nation’s growing minority population. The conventional wisdom would surely be that the Democrats were likely to control the White House for years to come.

That still might happen, and the 2016 presidential election may ultimately be viewed as an aberration that will be difficult for the Republicans to replicate. As it was, the election was a split decision — Clinton taking the popular vote, Trump the all-important electoral vote. …

What follows is a look at how Clinton and Trump did, respectively, in different types of counties across the country. While 2016 was not that much different nationally than 2012 — the Democratic candidate won by about two points nationally instead of by four — there were wild swings at the state and county level that, taken together, allowed Trump to capture the presidency. CONT.

Rhodes Cook, Sabato’s Crystal Ball