As the last states rolled in their final votes Wednesday morning, a mix of excitement and shock rippled through the country as Donald Trump became president-elect.
Pollsters like M-S-U political science professor Matt Grossman predicted a lower turnout in certain parts of the country.
“We were speculating turnout might be down because people disliked both candidates,” Grossmann said. “And that was true among African Americans and people in urban areas which was somewhat expected, but turned out to be bigger than we thought.”
But many pollsters didn’t count what many are calling the ‘secret’ vote.
“There was some real persuasion and turnout for whites with lower education who were in rural areas and came out to support Donald Trump, even though those same areas previously supported Barack Obama,” Grossmann said.
Hillary supporters felt strongly about their chances of winning the election, but researchers say that many may not have been ready for a ‘Madame President’.
“Women and men have this assumption that more men should be in government than women,” said PhD student and social science professor Jamil Scott. “There’s never been a discussion about a woman president, but carrying an expectation like that it might be a little difficult for people to want to see a woman president.”
She mentioned that protest voting for the third-party candidates also didn’t help the Clinton campaign.
“Votes that could’ve went to Hillary, went to Jill Stein,” Scott said. “And some of those votes that could’ve went to Trump went to Gary Johnson too.”
There was also an assumption that minority groups would vote for the Democratic ticket.
“Latino Americans, though they largely vote democratic as do Asian-Americans, those groups might still be described as in-play because they aren’t fully with the Democratic Party,” Scott said.
And with the Republicans taking control of both the House and the Senate, Grossmann said that it’ll be difficult for Democrats to win seats in 2018.
“The playing field is going to be dramatically tilted toward the Republicans because of where the Democrats have to defend. States like West Virginia where Donald Trump won by 40 points where the Democrats will have to defend a senator, places like Montana, North Dakota that overwhelmingly vote for Republicans.