Taylor Blake/Martin Prosperity Institute

The geography of the 2016 election is spiky.

In a recent piece for CityLab, I charted the broad patterns of the 2016 presidential election results across America’s metro areas. Hillary Clinton won the largest metros, but Donald Trump carried more of them, as well as rural and micropolitan places. Overall, the 2016 election served to harden and solidify America’s enduring fault lines of class and geography, knowledge, and density.

I wanted to take a closer look at the metros that went for Trump versus Clinton. As I noted previously, election returns are not typically collated by metro area, but county-level results are available. My Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) colleagues arrayed the county-level data to the country’s 350-plus metros using data from two sources. Our main source was Dave Leip’s county-level election results. Where data was missing, we used data from Simon Rogers, data editor at Google News Lab. (Again, I note that while there are still some vote tallies yet to be certified, the overall shares of the vote at the metro level are unlikely to change much at this point).

The map below by MPI’s Taylor Blake charts the metro area vote. Clinton votes are in blue, Trump votes are in red, and the height of the bars indicates the percent of the national vote cast in metros.

(Taylor Blake)

Look at the large blue columns for Clinton across the Boston-New York-Washington Corridor; in Miami, in Northern and Southern California, and in Chicago. While there is more red on the map, there is nothing nearly so tall for Trump.

Large Metros with the Biggest Vote Share for Clinton

Rank

Metro

Clinton Vote Share

1

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

76.7%

2

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

72.9%

3

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

68.2%

4

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

66.6%

5

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

63.7%

6

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

62.3%

7

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

62.0%

8

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

62.0%

9

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

61.6%

10

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

61.6%

The table above shows the top 10 large metros that went for Clinton. Clinton took whopping shares of the vote in the Bay Area high-tech hubs of San Francisco (76.7 percent) and San Jose (72.9 percent). And she carried more than two-thirds of the vote in Los Angeles. She also did very well in the densely populated metros of the Bos-Wash Corridor, taking more than two-thirds of the vote in Washington, D.C., and more than 60 percent in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She carried more than 60 percent of the vote in Chicago, Miami, and Seattle as well.

Clinton won by more than 55 percent of the vote in Portland, Oregon (57.5 percent), Hartford (56.6 percent), San Diego (56.6 percent), Austin (56.5 percent), Baltimore (55.8 percent), and Cleveland (55.6 percent); roughly 54 percent in Memphis; 53.5 percent in Denver and Orlando; 53 percent in Providence, Sacramento, and Detroit; 52.5 percent in Las Vegas; 52 percent in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Richmond, and Atlanta; and 51 percent in Virginia Beach and Riverside.

Clinton also carried large shares of the vote in smaller college towns such as Santa Cruz, California (73.4 percent); Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina (70.5 percent); Boulder, Colorado (70.3 percent); Ann Arbor, Michigan (67.4 percent); Ithaca, New York (66.7 percent); Madison, Wisconsin (66.7 percent); Lawrence, Kansas (62.4 percent); Burlington, Vermont (60.8 percent); Corvallis, Oregon (59.9 percent); Tallahassee, Florida (57.7 percent); Charlottesville, Virginia (56.6 percent); Gainesville, Florida (55.8 percent); New Haven, Connecticut (54.3 percent); Bloomington, Indiana (54.0 percent); Raleigh, North Carolina (53.4 percent); and Eugene, Oregon (53.4 percent).

Clinton also did well in border metros with large shares of Hispanic residents such as Laredo (74.4 percent), El Paso (69.0 percent), McAllen (68.6 percent), and Brownsville (64.6 percent) in Texas; Las Cruces (53.7 percent) in New Mexico; Tucson (54.3 percent) in Arizona; and El Centro (67.5 percent) in California.

Large Metros with the Biggest Vote Share for Trump

Rank

Metro

Trump Vote Share

1

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

58.6%

2

Oklahoma City, OK

58.5%

3

Jacksonville, FL

56.6%

4

Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

56.1%

5

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

55.8%

6

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

53.7%

7

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

51.7%

8

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

51.3%

9

Pittsburgh, PA

50.2%

10

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

50.1%

The above table shows the top 10 large metros that went for Trump. The largest cities that Trump won in were Sunbelt metro areas and Rustbelt metro areas. In the Sunbelt, he won majorities in Birmingham, Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, Nashville, Dallas, and Charlotte. In the Rustbelt, he won majorities in Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.

Trump also took a plurality of the vote in Louisville (49.8 vs. Clinton’s 45.1 percent), Tampa (49.3 vs. 46.3 percent), Phoenix (48.6 vs. 44.5 percent), Houston (48.5 vs. 47.5 percent), San Antonio (48.4 vs. 47.2 percent), St. Louis (48.0 vs. 46.9 percent), and Kansas City (48.0 vs. 45.9 percent.)

Trump took huge shares of the vote in smaller Sunbelt metros—especially in the South—such as Morristown (77.3 percent), Tennessee; Amarillo (76.9 percent) and Midland, Texas (75.4 percent); Houma, Louisiana (74.7 percent); Dalton, Georgia (74.4 percent); Joplin, Missouri (74.4 percent); and Decatur, Alabama (73.8 percent).

He also won by substantial margins in smaller Rustbelt metros such as Altoona (71.5 percent), Chambersburg (70.6 percent), and Williamsport, Pennsylvania (69.7 percent); Parkersburg (71.1 percent), Huntington (67.6 percent), Weirton-Steubenville (66.7 percent), and Wheeling (66.6 percent), West Virginia; and Kokomo (64.3 percent), Elkhart (63.8 percent), and Terre Haute, Indiana (61.7 percent).

***

We know that America’s economic geography is spiky, and its political geography clearly is too. While we may think in terms of red and blue states, our real geographic divides are along metro as well as urban-suburban and rural lines. In a future post, I’ll take a closer look at which metros swung the most from one party to the other—where the Clinton and Trump campaigns gained or lost the largest shares of the voted compared to Obama and Romney in 2012.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  2. Design

    Paris Will Create the City's Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

    The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.

  3. a photo of a police line barricade in front of a sidewalk
    Transportation

    What We Fight About When We Fight About Parking

    The urban economist Donald Shoup collects reports of violence that erupts over parking spaces. To him, disputes between drivers are signs of a bigger problem.

  4. A photo of a Tesla Model X inside the Boring Company's demonstration tunnel in Los Angeles.
    Transportation

    Dig Your Crazy Tunnel, Elon Musk!

    The Tesla CEO says his Boring Company tunnel cost $10 million per mile to build. If that’s true, it could be a big deal for public transit.

  5. Opponents of SB 50.
    Equity

    Despite Resistance, Cities Turn to Density to Tackle Housing Inequality

    Residential “upzoning” policies being adopted from Minneapolis to Seattle were once politically out of the question. Now they’re just politically fraught.