Trump’s Performance in Different Media Markets

The media loves to talk about how Trump did horribly in “the suburbs” and how “the suburbs” may be a problem for the GOP going forward. Typically the media thinks of “the suburbs” as a monolithic group. They usually think of a very wealthy suburb full of white people who all have college degrees near a very large city. When the media thinks of suburbs, they typically don’t think of people living in suburbs of Zanesville Ohio. But the people in places like that can vote too.


Trump did worse than Romney in 36 media markets.

They are as follows, ordered by biggest swing against Trump (total vote margin)

Los Angeles, CA (-630,191)
San Francisco, CA (-323,521)
Salt Lake City, UT (-281,850)
Chicago, IL (-228,286)
Washington, DC-MD (-189,475)
Houston, TX (-185,897)
Boston, MA-NH (-180,626)
San Diego, CA (-165,926)
Atlanta, GA (-162,666)
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (-127,085)
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL (-106,743)
Austin, TX (-102,615)
Seattle-Tacoma, WA (-81,342)
Phoenix, AZ (-78,897)
Sacramento, CA (-67,896)
Raleigh, NC (-46,245)
San Antonio, TX (-43,281)
El Paso, TX-NM (-39,099)
Tucson(Sierra Vista), AZ (-33,612)
Denver, CO (-29,479)
Palm Springs, CA (-28,660)
Santa Barbara, CA (-26,509)
Portland, OR (-21,817)
Fresno-Visalia, CA (-20,612)
Idaho Falls, ID (-16,215)
Harlingen, TX (-16,160)
Richmond-Petersburg, VA (-15,517)
Montery-Salinas, CA (-15,463)
Yuma-El Centro, AZ-CA (-12,337)
Charlottesville, VA (-6,503)
Bakersfield, CA (-6,228)
Gainesville, FL (-2,797)
Laredo, TX (-2,345)
Bend, OR (-2,254)
Twin Falls, ID (-369)
Odessa-Midland, TX (-65)

So basically the cities I mentioned earlier plus a couple California cities and college towns. The worst 10 by 2 party swing% rather than total vote margin were in order: Salt Lake City, San Diego, Austin, Yuma-El Centro, El Paso, Houston, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tuscon

Trump did better than Romney in the remaining 171 media markets. These were Trump’s 10 best compared to Romney by total vote margin swing

Cleveland, OH (222,041)
Detroit, MI (203,220)
Tampa, FL (151,470)
St. Louis, MO (150,722)
New York, NY (140,949)
Wilkes Barre, PA (139,058)
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (104,427)
Flint-Saginaw, MI (100,177)
Charleston, WV (98,707)
Buffalo, NY (97,696)

Trump’s best 10 by 2 party vote swing % in order: Zanesville OH, Wheeling WV-OH, Youngstown OH, Presque Isle ME, Ottumwa IA-MO, Watertown NY, Alpena MI, Quincy IL-MO-IA, Charleston WV, Wilkes Barre PA.


It turns out a lot of these places the media likes to pretend don’t exist have suburbs too! And the people in those suburbs came out hard for Trump! Trump did worse in some suburbs and better in others. And he did better overall. So no, the GOP does not have a “suburban problem”. There may be a “ultra wealthy educated suburbanite living in large media market problem” but that’s a different problem, and a much less important problem, considering the other gains Trump made.


I got all this data from Echelon Insights. You can get the data from them at this link. You just have to have them email it to you.

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  • Izengabe June 27, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Really good stuff! Thanks for putting this together!

    The key here is Trump outperformed in all the right markets in Ohio, MI, FL, MO & PA and under-performed in all unimportant markets in CA, IL, UT, DC and TX.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Yep, basically true. The only state where Trump’s suburban performance really killed him was Virginia. If Trump got Romney numbers in NoVA, Richmond, and Charlottesville, he wouldn’t have won, but he would’ve come within like 30,000 votes, which might’ve been made up with more campaigning.

      In other close states like Nevada, Minnesota, and New Hampshire, Trump actually did really well in the suburbs. In Colorado, he was about the same as Romney, doing worse in Denver, but better in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction

      He was also very bad in Miami, but made up for it with an excellent performance in Tampa

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

      • krazen1211 June 28, 2017 at 11:40 am

        Does the Miami media market cover Palm Beach, Broward, Monroe where Trump did well?

        Even in Dade, Trump lost some ground but did better there relative to other sun belt areas.

        • roguemapper June 28, 2017 at 11:48 am

          It’s Broward, Dade, and Monroe. If the idea here is to assess how the GOP did in the suburbs then this whole approach is extremely misguided because every media market includes substantial urban and rural areas. Even the NYC media market includes half of NJ, the Lower Hudson, and parts of CT and PA. The 2016 media market shifts are mainly going to reveal the effects of a drop in urban AA turnout and the rural WWC shift toward the Donald. I may be repeating what’s already been said in this thread but I haven’t paid much attention because this clearly isn’t the way to delve into the suburban vote.

          Dem NC-11

        • roguemapper June 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

          PS. In most cases the way to do it is separate out the suburban CDs and compare those presidential figures. To be sure, these media market numbers are quite interesting, but not because they’re revealing much in terms of how suburbs voted.

          Dem NC-11

  • krazen1211 June 27, 2017 at 6:06 pm


    Carried this over from the daily thread.

    “This is really neat data. Thanks for sharing it. Because these are media markets and not just suburbs, I wonder how much of the dropoff in African American turnout affects some of the top cities (Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, etc). While Trump definitely gets credit for appealing to some voters that Romney turned off, the shift from Obama to Clinton also affected who voted in a substantial way.”

    It doesn’t appear to be particularly correlated to the metro performance. Remember black turnout dropped basically across the board, and that includes states/metros that swung towards Hillary and those that swung towards the GOP.

    So any dropoff in black turnout should affect St. Louis (19% AA) as well as Houston (17% AA) but obviously the swings were different.

    In the end I think it goes back to non-college whites, and maybe a decline in black turnout put Trump over the top in the electoral college.

    The open question is whether this can be replicated, or if Trump needs new voters to win again. I tend to lean yes, and that Trump can win again by simply winning the same set of voters again (IA, OH, PA, WI, MI, although its dicey on the last 2), and in the case of Florida, win again by racking up huge margins with new 2017-2020 retirees into the Villages and elsewhere.

    AZ is a state to watch, since Hillary gained 100k votes over Obama 2012. But I see it tilting right in a close election in 2020.

    • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      Agreed. I think that just mattered uniformly. Some of the media markets Trump did very well in, like Detroit and St. Louis, have large black populations, but some of them, like Wilkes-Barre, Charleston and Minneapolis have almost non-existent black populations. Meanwhile, Atlanta, Chicago, and DC are blacker than any of Trump’s top 10 media markets, and he did badly in all

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • californianintexas June 27, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks. I too was curious about how suburbs of different metro areas turned out. I already knew, having lived in suburbs my first 28 years, that they are not all monolithically white, college-educated, and higher-income like a stereotypical Orange County suburb of the 60s and 70s. I am curious about how race, income, and education influenced the presidential outcome in each suburban area. I remember when most suburbs in California outside of the Bay Area and L.A. County were moderate-to-strong GOP. Sacramento County, for example, used to be swingy (barely for Bush ’00 then barely for Kerry ’04) due to the strongly red suburbs balancing out the strongly blue city.

    34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31),

  • Republican Michigander June 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Interesting. Media Markets don’t cover just cities and suburbs, but they are good for a ballpark figure.

    I notice a major pattern here.
    Trump bombs in:
    The Swamp (DC) – I’m not sure how close Richmond/Hampton Roads are tied to the Swamp, but they and DC burbs moved left at the same time.
    California – Specifically white liberal havens, Mexican areas, and Silicon Valley
    Chicagoland – Interesting a guy I know who briefly lived there called it a “damn yuppie town.”
    Areas with high Latin American populations (borderlands, South Florida)
    Heavily religious areas – Mormon areas (McMullin) and Dutch conservative areas (West MI) weren’t friendly to Trump
    Metro Boston – Being from NY doesn’t help. Romney also was from there.
    Atlanta, GA – I think this is as much demographics as anything else. Same for Charlotte, Raleigh (academia effect here too),
    White leftist havens – Denver, Seattle, Portland

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • TexasR June 27, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      There is no way that changing demographics fully explains the Donald’s tanking in sunbelt metros. The raw data simply does not support that conclusion.

      Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
      Be careful what you wish for

      • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        Agreed. The data doesn’t support it. There wasn’t some massive demographic change in those areas from 2012 to 2016 that there wasn’t from 2008 to 2012. Romney even significantly improved over McCain in some of these areas. You don’t see the massive swing against him you see against Trump anywhere. Also, in Las Vegas, which is a rapidly diversifying sun belt metro area, Trump actually significantly improved over Romney. It’s because it has more friendly whites to Trump than the other ones

        There are definitely voters we lost that we should try to get back. Whether we can or not is debatable, but I think we can.

        The only one that may be pure demographics is Miami, which has a huge influx of Latin Americans and a Cuban population that’s turning against us as old ones die and are replaced with younger ones who are more Dem. The other ones all clearly had white Republicans who voted Clinton or 3rd party. Miami has been trending away from us for a while

        Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • Greyhound June 27, 2017 at 7:27 pm

          That and Orlando, which I’m pretty sure swung against Trump last year, but isn’t included in the above. Or was Trump’s gains in Volusia, Brevard, and Lake more than his losses in Orange, Oscela, and Seminole?

          R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

          • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 7:34 pm

            Trump improved in the Orlando media market according to Echelon insights at least. According to the data, Trump got 51.5% of the Orlando media market compared to 50.52% for Romney (2 party share for both). I think the media market definition may also include Marion, Sumter and Flagler, in which case, Trump would’ve improved

            Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

            • californianintexas June 27, 2017 at 8:11 pm

              Yes, Marion, Sumter, and Flagler are in the Orlando media market. Here are Romney’s and Trump’s numbers in each county:

              Brevard: Romney 159,300; Trump 181,848
              Flagler: Romney 26,969; Trump 33,850
              Lake: Romney 87,643; Trump 102,188
              Marion: Romney 93,043; Trump 107,833
              Orange: Romney 188,589; Trump 195,216
              Osceola: Romney 40,592; Trump 50,301
              Seminole: Romney 109,943; Trump 109,443
              Sumter: Romney 40,646; Trump 52,730
              Volusia: Romney 117,490; Trump 143,007
              Overall: Romney 864,215; Trump 976,416

              Overall Trump gained 112,201 votes over Romney. Trump actually got more votes than Romney in every county except Seminole, and then the difference there is only 500 votes. Clinton just got even more votes than Obama 2012 in Orange and Osceola.

              34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31),

    • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      As someone who has ties to the area, Richmond and Hampton Roads are not tied to DC at all. Almost no one lives in Richmond and works in DC or the DC Suburbs. And hell, Hampton Roads? It’s almost 4 hours from DC with no traffic. They have different reasons for moving left.

      Richmond is a mini-swamp of sorts. It’s a state capital. State capitals tend to attract Government workers and liberal whites, and university students and professors (Richmond has 2 major universities, VCU and University of Richmond). You tend to see them be islands of blue in a sea of red. Other examples of this are Albany NY, Harrisburg PA, Austin TX, Lansing MI, Madison WI, Juneau AK, Little Rock AR, etc. Richmond and its suburbs have been trending blue for years. If you go to Dave Leip’s Atlas, you can see that Richmond, and its surrounding suburban counties Chesterfield and Henrico County have trended Democrat the last 5 elections in a row. This area has been headed away from us a long time before Trump due to an influx of liberals because its a state capital.

      Trump did not actually do badly in Hampton Roads. He improved over Romney in the Norfolk media market from 44.66% of the 2 party vote to 46.54%. The issue is that Hampton Roads is almost 40% black (the media market is 31% black but Hampton Roads itself is a little more than 39% black). Because of this, it stampeded massively to the left under Obama in 2008, both because he was the first black President and black turnout went up everywhere, but also because Democrats really competed in Virginia to turn out blacks like they didn’t before. In 2012 it trended left again when black turnout went up again. And in Hampton Roads, whites are very Republican, but not monolithically Republican like in Alabama or Missisippi. There are some universities there like Old Dominion and Christopher Newport, and there are a few liberal whites in the cities.

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • Republican Michigander June 27, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I was somewhat surprised at Detroit being number 2 in Media Market because Detroit Media also covers Ann Arbor. Washtenaw County was actually the most Democrat county in the state by percentage for the first time in history last election, overtaking Wayne County. Oakland was hit or miss for Trump, but a slight underperformance (not in all of Oakland). Macomb, St Clair, Livingston and Monroe made up for it. Flint/Saginaw is significant because it doesn’t have a large population overall. That is close (outside of a few areas) to a uniformly blue collar area as there is.

    I was surprised how well Trump improved in the blue collar northeast just due to its tradition. I shouldn’t be. Buffalo is arguably more Midwest by culture, but NYC, Watertown, and Maine is not. NYC surprised me some, but I can see Staten Island types of areas going big for Trump. They remind me a bit of my state’s own Macomb in some ways.

    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • HoneyBee June 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      I’m not that surprised by Detroit. Yeah, Washtenaw was bad. But Wayne County and Macomb County were Trump’s 1st and 3rd biggest vote margin improvements over Romney in the entire country (sandwiched between Suffolk County NY). Trump actually did almost exactly the same as Romney in Oakland County overall (I know there were huge swings in a lot of the townships, but they cancelled each other out) as he only lost by 1379 votes more than Romney did. But Detroit media market also includes Livingston, where Trump improved by about 8,000 votes, and also Monroe, Lapeer, St. Clair and Sanilac, where Trump totally dominated

      Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • Jon June 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    If that’s the TV markets (which it looks like) : St Louis TV market includes not only all the suburbs and exurbs but several rural counties on both sides of the river.

    I think they’ll be a higher relationship between percentage of the TV market that is rural areas and exurbs and Trump’s performance vs Romney than percentage of AAs.

    45, M, MO-02

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