HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The day after the national election that saw a Donald Trump win, headlines and a large chunk of the public are asking the same question: what happened? How could the polls be so off about the outcome of the presidential election?
Trump's win took many by surprise. But according to exit poll data by the Edison Research for the National Election Pool, Trump’s victory was, in large part, because of his support from white women. Trump was lifted up by voters who looked like his opponent. Hillary Clinton was blocked from becoming the first female president, in large part by her own demographic. Exit polls show more than half of white women voted for Trump.
This is despite allegations of sexual assault and what some percieved as vulgar remarks from Trump. So why did women vote for him? One overarching reason was party loyalty.
“I’m a very staunch Republican, and I didn't like Hillary Clinton. And even though I didn't like Donald Trump, I still wanted to vote for my party,” said Maria Latta, who voted for Trump.
“I would have liked to have voted for a woman president and I think it's such a great role model for our young girls, but the problem was I just didn’t see a message of change with Hillary and it was kind of like leading in the footsteps of Obama,” Jeannie Bustillo, who also voted for Trump.
Honestly, he said a lot of horrible things about women and minorities, and I don't agree with them, but I also don’t trust Hillary Clinton,” said Latta.
For many, deeply rooted unhappiness and desperate desire for change outweighed Trump's rhetoric.
“Of course, I wasn’t happy about hearing that but I do feel like it was 10 years ago and I feel like he's probably grown as a man. He was associated with Hollywood at that time, and I think people grow and people change,” said Bustillo.
Judy Ann, who voted for Trump, said she voted more against Hillary. "I don’t think either one of them are our best choice but we had no other choice."
“I think that at the root of this is a raw rage. There were so people who were simply looking for something different in their economy, in their national security, and they thought Donald Trump would deliver,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of political science at the University of Houston.
Understanding the election outcome starts with understanding why people voted the way they did.
White women were a very important demographic, making up 37 percent of all voters.