The Establishment has forcefully pushed the explanation that Clinton lost due the fact that “working class whites” voted for Trump because they are racist. I was surprised to hear this theory, because as a poor white person, I know that the rich always vote for Republicans and the poor have very consistently voted for Democrats. This holds in exit poll data back into 1984 (we’ll talk about the income data and exit polls in general in a separate post, but that data can be found here). This year, Clinton only won those making 50,000 a year, while losing the other income groups.
Some have noticed that Trump won more uneducated voters, and called these people working class. This seems strange for two reasons
- Trump also won the educated white vote.
- Only 30 percent of the country has a BA and BA’s are no guarantee of social status in a country where there is limited social mobility
More detailed contextual information is here. After seeing these arguments, it was suggested that Clinton won the cities, where the poor are assumed to be nonwhite (there are in fact, poor whites in urban areas, I used to be one), while Trump won rural, white voters living in poverty. This theory will be deconstructed by looking at the precinct by precinct data. That data, which goes beyond exit polls to actual vote totals, can be found using this link. Please subscribe to the LA Times money for being kind enough to make big data accessible to everyone.
Lessons from the Coast: A Close Look at Oxnard, California
Today we will be talking about beautiful Oxnard, California. Oxnard is on the coast of Southern California. Oxnard is about 77 percent white, and has actually increased in the percentage of white people since 2010. The BA rate fits the national average (3o percent) and the median income is 53,482.
Here is a map of how the City of Oxnard Voted
You’ll notice that Clinton won Oxnard. It is a sea of blue except for one tiny section that happens to be beach front property. Average home costs in Oxnard are 442,000, according to Zillow. Except for that little red patch where they are selling for 1.5 million and up. Sort of hard to call those Trump supporters, and he won in that strip by 60 percent of the vote, “working class” even if they are so profoundly white.
Tomorrow we’ll be comparing Rio Linda, known as the home of the largest KKK in California and Del Paso Heights, which is also a neighborhood in Sacramento with similar racial demographics. We will also take a look at who voted for Trump in Los Angeles. Then we will discuss how the turnout data in exit polls has changed for class overtime. Next week, I’ll be sharing a breakdown of votes in Wisconsin and some interesting correlations between the health data and voting.