What the 2016 presidential election returns reveal about Connecticut voters

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Despite Connecticut’s general “blueness” in recent years, the presidential race was a relatively close one here this year, with more than three quarters of the state’s registered voters coming to the polls.

Here’s a closer look at the numbers to see what this election, when compared with the results of 2012, revealed about the voting public’s character and mood.

In general, it is safe to say, voters were a lot less supportive of Hillary Clinton than they were of President Barack Obama when he ran; and the election results draw sharp contrasts along educational, income, and urban vs. rural lines.

Clinton carried the state by about 216,000 votes or about 13 percent of all votes cast, the smallest victory margin since 2004 when John Kerry defeated George W. Bush by only 163,000 votes.

The Democratic candidate won the popular vote nationwide as well as in Connecticut, but as everyone knows, Republican Donald Trump went on to win the majority of the electoral votes, 290 to 232, with Michigan’s 16 votes still outstanding as of today.

Rural areas picked Trump. Urban cities picked Clinton

Clinton had overwhelming support in urban areas while Trump won over rural areas.

Trump shocked pollsters by flipping key battleground states and counties across the country. In Connecticut, 40 towns that had previously supported Obama in 2012 switched to Trump.

By comparison, Clinton managed to flip only nine towns— most notably in the state’s wealthy southwest which has traditionally supported Republican candidates. Greenwich voted for Clinton over Trump, while rural eastern Connecticut towns flipped from Obama in ’12 to Trump this time around.

Trump’s gains in Connecticut ran parallel to the national trend.

This year’s election bought Connecticut into sharp relief along class lines, particularly with education and income.

White working class

There was a fairly strong correlation between the percent of a town’s white population with the town’s percent vote for a particular candidate.

Municipalities with a higher percent of minorities tended to vote at a higher rate for Clinton. The opposite was true for Trump.

There was also a very strong correlation between a town’s median income and how much Clinton and Trump’s support increased or decreased since 2012.

Towns with a higher median income were more likely to vote for Clinton as compared to Obama in 2012. Likewise, the lower the median income, the more likely a town’s voters increased their support for Trump from Romney.

There’s a similarly strong correlation between those over 25 with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Voters flipped mostly for Trump

Voter participation during this election was rather high at about 76 percent, thanks to new initiatives such as the election day registration.

However, some towns that flipped for Clinton saw notable declines in voter turnout.

Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, and Ridgefield all switched to support Clinton, but voter participation shrank between 2 and 9 percent.

Otherwise, most towns saw an increase in turnout when flipping.

Many more

There are a number of factors within a town that correspond with the level of support given to either Trump or Clinton.

Trend CT cross-referenced many data points found in DataHaven’s Community Well Being Survey and found decent correlations among many questions they asked, like whether residents felt financially secure, or their level of anxiety or satisfaction.

Their results only account for about 40 towns, but one of the stronger correlations for whether someone voted for Trump or Clinton in those towns was how much they felt like they had any influence on local government. Those who felt the least in control tended to vote for Trump.


Check our work — The data and scripts behind the visualizations for this story are available in Trend CT’s GitHub repository. Read about our philosophy on reproducibility and open data.


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