In the wake of Donald Trump's victory, a lot of narratives have been perpetuated as to what happened. One of the most popular explanations being peddled by the left is that the white population pushed Trump to victory over fear of a changing country.
Indeed, Van Jones of CNN said on election night that this election was a "whitelash". This narrative fits nicely into the prevailing rhetoric before the election that Trump and his supporters were racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic bigots.
Even I thought before the election that Trump's only realistic path to victory was for the white turnout to be strong. Not because I actually believed that Trump and his supporters were bigots, but because it is no secret that white voters are more predisposed to voting Republican. Moreover, with the fear tactics being used by the left and media, I had little faith in this being the election that minorities would shift to the GOP.
However, now that the results are in and the dust has settled, we have enough data to show that it wasn't whites that pushed Trump to victory. The exact opposite may actually be true.
To start, white turnout was actually down from 2012, and the way whites voted barely changed from previous elections. Meanwhile, Hispanic turnout increased but Trump actually received a larger share of the Hispanic vote than Romney did in 2012. Additionally, while African American turnout was down slightly, Trump also captured a higher share of the black vote than Romney did in 2012.
Finally, a key demographic that helped push Trump to victory was Democrats. People that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, but chose to side with Donald Trump in this election.
If the narrative is true that whites and racism pushed Trump to victory, how is it that Trump won despite lower white turnout, and heavier shares of the black and Hispanic vote? How is it that racism powered Trump to victory when people that previously voted for a black candidate shifted their votes to Donald Trump?
What is clear is despite all the rhetoric, race played a very small role in this election, but don't count on the media to paint it that way.
NOTE: Data collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, from ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News.