What is 'whitelash', and why are experts saying it led to Donald Trump's election?

Caucasian voters have turned out in their masses to elect Republican, according to polls

Harriet Agerholm
Wednesday 09 November 2016 17:15
Comments
Trump's presidency could put off millions of potential visitors to the US
Trump's presidency could put off millions of potential visitors to the US

While pre-election commentary was dominated by speculation about whether Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about black and Hispanic people would spark an angry backlash from minority voters, one major demographic group went largely ignored.

According to the exit polls, white voters turned out in their masses to elect Mr Trump as president – and this perceived act of angry rebellion has been dubbed "whitelash". But what is this concept?

Where did the term come from?

Visibly reeling from the shock US election result, CNN commentator and attorney Van Jones said: “This was a whitelash.

"This was a whitelash against a changing country, it was a whitelash against a black president in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.”

Van Jones perfectly sums up the 'nightmare' of Trump's surprise victory

What is the evidence for it?

The US Census Bureau will eventually release an official and comprehensive round-up of which population group voted for whom, but exit polling has given some early insights into the demographics of the electorate.

According to Edison Research's national election poll, which collected results from 24,537 respondents in 350 polling stations, nearly 60 per cent of all white voters chose Mr Trump.

And they made up the bulk of the voters: 69 per cent of Americans who turned up to the polling stations were white.

Mr Trump did not just perform well with white blue-collar voters. The Republican performed well with voters of both genders and almost all ages and education levels.

The only exception was white, college educated women, 51 per cent of whom opted for Hillary Clinton.

Among non-white voters, who make up 31 per cent of the electorate, only voted 21 per cent opted for the Republican.

The demographic break-down comes amid growing concern over racial tensions in the US after a series of deaths of black men at the hands of police.

As news of Mr Trump winning the White House broke, former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke said it was "one of the most exciting nights of my life".

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in