Politics is a touchy subject. That's why, for most people, there's an unspoken understanding that there is a time and a place for political conversation. That place does not include long rants on Facebook, heated discussions with strangers in the grocery line, or while sitting down to a nice family meal.
The 2016 election has taken that unspoken understanding and thrown it out the window. These days you are hard-pressed to find a time and place where politics aren’t dominating the conversation. I have observed friends, coworkers, celebrities, organizations, and citizens of the world take a stand in this election for whichever candidate they support on whichever social media platform they see fit.
There is no debate that this election is a polarizing one, but just how polarizing? When PayScale started asking survey respondents who they plan to vote for in the upcoming election after the conventions in July, I could hardly wait to get my hands on the data to investigate that very question. PayScale has already analyzed and produced fascinating reports with the survey results (see PayScale’s election coverage). The question I wanted to explore with the data is: How divided is support for Clinton and Trump by demographic? The answer I found is, not surprisingly, very divided.
PayScale collected more than 100,000 responses to the question “Who do you plan to vote for in the November presidential election?” between August 4, 2016 and October 10, 2016. Twenty-six percent of respondents specified that they plan to vote either Clinton/Kaine or Trump/Pence (53 percent - prefer not to say; 15 percent - Clinton/Kaine; 11 percent - undecided; 11 percent - Trump/Pence; 5 percent - third-party candidate, 4 percent - do not intent to vote). The following analysis looks at the divide in support for Clinton and Trump from the pool of voters that specified they plan to vote for one of the two, by demographic.
Key Point: More than 50 percent of women at every pay grade are for Hillary. The higher the pay grade, the bigger the gap in female candidate support.
Looking at income level, the smallest divide in support from females is seen by those who earn under $25,000 a year, with 59 percent of respondents reporting they plan to vote for Clinton (out of the set planning to support one of the two main candidates). The division in support grows as income levels grow, with the largest division seen by females who earn over $250,000 a year (90 percent Clinton, 10 percent Trump). While women are quite divergent, men are more evenly split. Males who earn over $250,000 a year are split 56 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump.
Division in Candidate Support by Degree Level
Key Point: More educated, more likely to vote Clinton.
If you have at least a bachelor’s degree, you are in a pool of voters that favors Clinton. Sixty-seven percent of respondents who earned a bachelor’s degree (and no higher degree) and specified they plan to vote for either Clinton or Trump, are planning to vote for Clinton. Of those who went on to earn a PhD, 84 percent are in favor of Clinton.
Division in Candidate Support by Age and Gender
Key Point: The trend in candidate support by age and gender is not the same for males and females.
Taking age out of the equation, we see a large divide in support for our Democratic candidate and Republican candidate from females. Of voters planning to vote for one of the two main party candidates, 67 percent of females plan to vote for Clinton. The division in support from males is much smaller with 52 percent planning to vote Trump. Adding age back into the equation, the division grows even larger for females, ages 22-37, with the greatest division held by those 26-27 years old — a whopping 82 percent of females 26-27 years old plan to vote for Clinton. The biggest divide for males? It’s nearly a tie between those 18-19 years old (68 percent Trump) and those 54-55 years old (67 percent Trump).
Key Point: The division in candidate support by generation grows smaller with age for females and larger with age for males.
Seventy-nine percent of female millennials (18 to <33 years old) who specified they plan to vote for either Clinton or Trump plan to vote for Clinton, leaving only 21 percent who plan to vote Trump. This is the biggest split for any gender/generation combination. The split for female baby boomers (50 to <69 years old) shrinks to 55 percent for Clinton vs. 45 percent for Trump. Interestingly, male millennials have a similar split as female boomers (54-46 percent in favor of Clinton). Unlike females, the division between male support grows with age — 62 percent of male baby boomers plan to vote Trump.
Division in Candidate Support by U.S. Metro
Key Point: I wouldn’t recommend wearing a Trump hat in San Francisco.
Can you guess the metros with the biggest division in candidate support? San Francisco comes in at #1 biggest division with 92 percent of respondents who specified they plan to vote either Clinton or Trump voting Clinton. Seattle (home of PayScale HQ) comes in at #2 with 86 percent responding they plan to vote Clinton.