by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Exit polls show that South Carolina Republican voters were angry about government and that Donald Trump, the winner, had support across age groups and ideology.
They also showed that they were split on whether the future president should be an outsider and that a majority support a pathway to citizenship for working illegal immigrants. Here are the most interesting data points:
Only white people are voting in the Republican race: In the Palmetto State, GOP primary Saturday, 96 percent of voters were white, about the same percentage as New Hampshire and Iowa. By contrast, 41 percent of Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada were non-white voters, a group that Hillary won decisively with 56 percent of their support. More than 90 percent of Democratic voters in Iowa and New Hampshire were white.
Trump has widespread support: Rich or poor, Republican or independent, voters of all varieties favored Trump in exit polls. The New York real estate developer led with 34 percent among primary voters who self-identity as moderate, and with 32 percent among those who consider themselves conservative. He led among veterans with 35 percent of their support, and among non-veterans with 31 percent. Among born-again and evangelical Christians and those who don’t consider themselves such, Trump also led with 33 percent and 30 percent respectively. The lesson — Trump’s support runs deep.
This one group supports Rubio: Voters with post-graduate degrees tended to favor Rubio. He blew the other candidates out of the water with 32 percent of their support in South Carolina. In Iowa also he led with this demographic, gaining 29 percent of their support. This trend was not evident in New Hampshire. There Trump led across the board with voters without high school degrees and those with post-graduate educations. Rubio was the candidate who led in the Palmetto State among those who opposed a ban of Muslims entering the United States, gaining 33 percent support. South Carolinians, though, overwhelmingly support this ban, with 74 percent agreeing with it.
Republican voters are pissed off: In case you haven’t been paying attention so far, GOP voters are not happy with the way the government has been behaving. South Carolina exit polling shows that 92 percent of Palmetto State primary voters were angry or dissatisfied with the federal government. This has been evident throughout the race. In New Hampshire 88 percent of Republican voters felt likewise, and in Iowa, 91 percent did.