According to exit polls from CNN, voters appear to have been driven toward Donald Trump less due to his own appeal and more because of disdain for Clinton. Relevant statistics are these:
- Americans who viewed both Trump and Clinton unfavorably (18% of the population) broke at a rate of 49% to 29% for Trump.
- Of the 17% of the population who believed the next President should be more liberal than Obama, 23% went to Trump, implying some leftover anger from former Bernie Sanders voters.
- 25% of voters stated that they voted for their candidate because they disliked his/her opponents. Of that group, Trump won 51%. In other words, he was viewed as the “lesser of the two evils.” Trump also narrowly won (49% to 48%) with voters who stated that they had “some reservations” with their chosen candidate. Meanwhile, Clinton handily won (53% to 42%) with those who “strongly favored” their candidate.
- Of those polled, 29% answered that neither candidate is honest. Trump won that portion of the electorate by a margin of 45% to 40%.
- When asked which candidate is qualified to be President, 14% answered “neither.” Trump won among this group by a split of 69% to 15%.
- In response to the question of which candidate has the better temperament, 14% answered that “neither does.” Trump won these voters 71% to 12%.
As will be assessed in the coming days, months, and years, numerous factors were at play in this election. However, it would appear at first blush that it was more of a loss for Clinton than a victory for Trump.