Clinton vs. Trump (Part 1): The Division in Support by Gender and Income

Politics is a touchy subject. That’s why, for most people, there’s an unspoken understanding that there is a time and a place for political conversation. That place does not include long rants on Facebook, heated discussions with strangers in the grocery line, or while sitting down to a nice family meal.

Republican Elephant + Democrat Donkey
Image Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

The 2016 election has taken that unspoken understanding and thrown it out the window. These days you are hard-pressed to find a time and place where politics aren’t dominating the conversation. I have observed friends, coworkers, celebrities, organizations, and citizens of the world take a stand in this election for whichever candidate they support on whichever social media platform they see fit.

There is no debate that this election is a polarizing one, but just how polarizing? When PayScale started asking survey respondents who they plan to vote for in the upcoming election after the conventions in July, I could hardly wait to get my hands on the data to investigate that very question. PayScale has already analyzed and produced fascinating reports with the survey results (see PayScale’s election coverage). The question I wanted to explore with the data is: How divided is support for Clinton and Trump by demographic? The answer I found is, not surprisingly, very divided.

PayScale collected more than 100,000 responses to the question “Who do you plan to vote for in the November presidential election?” between August 4, 2016 and October 10, 2016. Twenty-six percent of respondents specified that they plan to vote either Clinton/Kaine or Trump/Pence (53 percent – prefer not to say; 15 percent – Clinton/Kaine; 11 percent – undecided; 11 percent – Trump/Pence; 5 percent – third-party candidate, 4 percent – do not intent to vote). The following analysis looks at the divide in support for Clinton and Trump from the pool of voters that specified they plan to vote for one of the two, by demographic.

This will be a four-part series. Stay tuned daily to see candidate support by (1) gender and income, (2) educational level, (3) gender and age, and (4) U.S. metro.

A graph showing the division in candidate support by gender and income.

Part 1: Division in Candidate Support by Gender and Income

Key Point: More than 50 percent of women at every pay grade are for Hillary. The higher the pay grade, the bigger the gap in female candidate support.

Looking at income level, the smallest divide in support from females is seen by those who earn under $25,000 a year, with 59 percent of respondents reporting they plan to vote for Clinton (out of the set planning to support one of the two main candidates). The division in support grows as income levels grow, with the largest division seen by females who earn over $250,000 a year (90 percent Clinton, 10 percent Trump). While women are quite divergent, men are more evenly split. Males who earn over $250,000 a year are split 56 percent for Clinton and 44 percent for Trump.

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