- The Trump campaign’s chief pollster put together an autopsy detailing why he lost the 2020 election.
- The conclusions confirm public data indicating that Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and diminished support among white voters were key factors in his loss.
- They also fly in the face of Trump’s bogus claim that he lost the election because it was “rigged” and stolen from him.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Trump campaign’s chief pollster issued a blistering autopsy this week laying out why the former president lost the 2020 general election to Joe Biden. The main findings confirm much of the public data that’s been released in recent months and fly in the face of Trump’s conspiracy theories about the election.
Politico obtained a copy of the document in which the pollster, Tony Fabrizio, highlighted several key takeaways that he believed contributed to Trump’s landslide loss in both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote. Politico said the report has been circulated among Trump’s senior aides but it’s unclear if the former president has seen it yet.
Trump’s disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant factor in his election defeat, and he also lost significant, crucial support among white voters, and white men in particular.
Fabrizio arrived at the conclusions after examining ten battleground states that Trump won in 2016: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas. Biden flipped five of those states in 2020. Fabrizio’s report said he drew on data from the National Election Pool’s exit polls and AP’s VoteCast.
These were some of Fabrizio’s main conclusions as to why Trump lost:
- His administration’s botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 443,000 Americans and decimated the US economy.
- Fabrizio’s report said coronavirus was by far the most important issue for the electorate leading up to the November election, followed by the economy, healthcare, racism, law enforcement, and immigration. Issues that ranked the lowest were abortion, climate change, and foreign policy.
- In states Trump lost, just 26% of voters believed he was better equipped to deal with the pandemic, while 73% believed Biden was. Trump didn’t fare much better even in the states he won, with just 28% of voters saying he was better prepared to handle COVID-19.
- Biden had a double-digit advantage over Trump when it came to how honest and trustworthy voters thought the candidates were, the report said.
- In the five states Biden flipped, 41% of voters believed Trump was honest and trustworthy while 59% believed he wasn’t.
- In states Trump held, he saw an increase of just 2% in voters who viewed him as honest and trustworthy.
- Trump targeted Black and minority communities with his bogus voter fraud conspiracies and post-election litigation, but Fabrizio’s report said he actually gained support among those communities. He lost the most support from white voters, and white men in particular — a group that won him the White House in 2016.
- In states Biden flipped, Trump saw an 8% net loss from 2016 to 2020 among white voters and a 12% net loss among white men, the report said.
- In states Trump held, he had a net loss of 4% among white voters from 2016 to 2020 and a 6% net loss among white men.
- The former president increased his support among Hispanic voters in all 10 battleground states from 2016 to 2020, seeing a 10% net gain in states Biden flipped and 12% net gain in states Trump held.
- His support among Black voters inched up slightly, with a 1% net gain in states Biden flipped.
- Voters over the age of 65 deserted Trump in the five battleground states he lost to Biden, Fabrizio’s report said.
- Between 2016 and 2020, Trump saw a net loss of 8 percentage points among elderly voters.
- In states he held onto, he had a net loss of one percentage point in the demographic.
- He also lost significant support from white, college-educated voters in all ten battleground states.