Bob Wing

Initial Analysis of 2020 Exit Polls

Initial Analysis of 2020 Exit Polls
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by Bob Wing

Biden has narrowly won the most consequential election since 1860, a referendum on race, racism, inequality and authoritarianism amidst a raging pandemic.

In the last four years, the Republicans have moved farther right led by Trump, and Democrats have moved leftwards under the influence of Black Lives Matter, Bernie, Elizabeth and the left. Yet the presidential outcome was almost a duplicate of the 2016 election, but this time the decisive battleground states went narrowly for Biden instead of Trump. And who will control the Senate has not even been decided: Georgia voters will determine it in two runoff elections. Republicans made small gains in the House and in state legislatures.

The country remains virtually evenly divided and thoroughly polarized. We have a long and tough fight against the racist rightwing and for social justice ahead of us, starting with the Georgia run-offs.

Here are the highlights of a preliminary analysis of the only national exit poll, available on all major news and political websites.

  1. Despite Trump’s outrageous voter suppression campaign and the still raging Covid-19 crisis, voters of color bravely turned out in unprecedented numbers, raising their share of the electorate from 29% to 35%. Defying the media and pollster drumbeat that many would turn to Trump, they voted 72% for Biden, virtually the same as their vote for Clinton. Latinos increased their share of the vote from 9% to 11%. Voters of color were the key to Biden’s victory.
  2. Virtually all pre-election polls and surveys predicted that large numbers of white women, white suburbanites and white retirees would desert Trump and give the Democrats a big victory. Instead, the white electorate voted for Trump in the same percentage as 2016 (57%).
  3. White women actually slightly increased their vote for Trump compared to 2016 (55% v. 52%) and white men voted slightly lighter for him (58% v. 62%).
  4. Lower and moderate income voters went more strongly for the Democrats than in 2016. Voters from families making less than $50,000 per year went for Biden 57% compared to Clinton 53%. Voters from families making $50-100,000 increased their share of the electorate (38% v. 30%) and this time went for Biden by 56% rather than Trump (49% in 2016).
  5. Voters from families making more than $100,000 were less of the electorate (28% v. 34% in 2016) and voted more heavily for Trump this time (54% v. 47% in 2016).


The slides have more detail.



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  • Bob Dobbs
    Bob Dobbs November 11, 2020 at 5:34 am

    Given that both parties are fully on board with the worst parasites since the robber barons — sick animals who care not if we destroy the entire world — and whose policies in office are virtually identical save some window dressing — and the vast majority of the hairless apes are perfectly OK with that — this was the LEAST consequential election in history, not the most.

    Although it is the most consequential in a different sense. We have no more time for this infantile stupidity. So all the palaver and all the hand wringing and all the effort that have been wasted on this dog and pony show have simply made our extinction in the very near future that much more likely. In short, the thing to do with this “erection” was to ignore it completely and get on with the real business of saving ourselves.

  • Marvin
    Marvin November 11, 2020 at 7:45 am

    I look forward to seeing your further analysis.

    GINA MARIPOSA November 11, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Unconstitutional processing and counting has lead to unlawful results in key states, namely Michigan, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. It’s not over until it’s over and it is turning out that the Dems have many witnesses and complainants to their cheating. Republican “spotters” were prevented from passing on/validating the ballots; that is unconstitutional. This will not be tolerated. Legal action in MI and PA is underway.

    I’ve been here awhile, and have never seen a “do-over” election; I rather think that would be the “last resort”. But it will not stand that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will steal this election under these circumstances.

    I saw a YouTube today theorizing that Biden has Parkinson’s Disease; it classified that as a form of dementia. Here’s the link:
    He is just a stand-in and his second has little of value to offer, in my opinion. Whoever would really be running the country would not be known; it’s laughable to believe that Joe and Kamala would contribute very much of practical value. AOC? Ilhan? Dear God in heaven, help us!

    • Max+Elbaum
      Max+Elbaum November 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      OrgUp will leave this comment up for a while so readers who don’t follow racist and right wing conspiracy theory sites and social media groups can see what kind of nonsense circulates there. Likewise with the post from ‘Bob Dobbs’ above, which under guise of taking a far left position is a different kind of attempt to shift attention from the real world to an ideological fantasyland.

      • Steve in Wuhan
        Steve in Wuhan November 17, 2020 at 2:29 am

        It is a bit difficult to avoid the nonsense floating around social media, but the current situation magnifies the polarizing effect of a fragmented information ecosystem. The pandemic has had a detrimental effect on face to face interactions, workplace, and civil society networks in real life that would mitigate against fact-free thinking. This period underscores for me the necessity for deep organizing in any strategy for social change.

      • Nadinne Cruz
        Nadinne Cruz November 17, 2020 at 8:09 pm

        I appreciate your keeping those comments for us to learn from.

    • Roger D. Bybee
      Roger D. Bybee December 5, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      You’re offering a Youtube link as evidence without any evidence to establish its credibility?

      You may also want to ask why the Trump forces have been unable to prove fraud after approximately 50 lawsuits. Further, top government officials including Trump ally William Barr have stated that there was no fraud of any consequence.

  • Chris Bystroff
    Chris Bystroff November 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    How well do the vote totals match the numbers from the exit polls?
    Do they agree?

    • Bob Wing
      Bob Wing November 11, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      Exit polls are adjusted to agree with vote totals. As the vote totals are still coming in, the exit polls may also change.

      • Joy Schulman
        Joy Schulman December 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm

        I don’t think we should change the exit polls as the vote totals change, unless we are we are doing it in real time. I would think we would want to know the discrepancy, just like we know now that people say they will vote for a Black candidate, when they actually will not–ie the Bradley, Dinkins effect.

  • Paul Krehbiel
    Paul Krehbiel November 18, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Thank you, Bob, for your excellent article. As a lifelong trade union activist and socialist, I appreciate your attention to subtle shifts in various voting blocks. This is essential in developing strategy for the future. As a union organizer and negotiator I have seen repeatedly throughout my working life the critical importance of recognizing the shift in political power, even small shifts, as often being the difference between making gains or suffering losses. Those who dismiss this work need to come down off Mt. Purity, put their feet on the ground, and see what’s going on in the real world.

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