Donald Trump won because Democrat voters failed to turn out, early election results indicate

Mr Trump got fewer overall votes than Mitt Romney managed to gather in his losing election campaign

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 09 November 2016 17:10 GMT
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Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City
Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Donald Trump didn't win the election so much as Hillary Clinton lost it.

The new President-elect didn't actually generate any more votes than he was expected to, or than other candidates have in the past. He had fewer votes than the Republican candidates generated in the last two elections, overall – and both of those candidates, Mitt Romney and John McCain, lost fairly decisively.

Instead, Mr Trump's win was mostly decided by plunging Democrat votes, not by the fact that he had received strong support – which he failed to do.

In Barack Obama's first election, he was able to pick up nearly 70 million votes; in his second, that dropped to around 66 million. This time around, Hillary Clinton's support looks set not even to reach 60 million – far fewer than the number of people who voted for Barack Obama.

Even at that much reduced level, Ms Clinton's popular support appears to be stronger than Mr Trump's. Mr Trump also seems to have seen a reduction in the number of people voting for him, when compared with previous elections, bringing in fewer votes than recent presidential candidates.

But the latter is moving into the White House because of the arrangement of the electoral college, in which he has scored many more votes.

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