First off, I am a law abiding, legal resident of the United States of America – and have been for almost 30 years – but I did not have the right to vote yesterday where Donald J. Trump was elected to be the 45th President.
Secondly, I work in the technology sector and I work with a lot of data so in many ways, with what happened recently in my home country and the ways that I interpret and translate data on a daily basis, I more than anyone should have seen this coming. Now that I have started to look at the polling data from the yesterday and compare it to that of the Brexit vote earlier in the year, the parallels are ominous.
Urban vs Rural
Just as in the UK referendum where the large metropolitan areas voted to remain in the European Union, urban areas voted for Hillary Clinton while rural areas voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, who railed against the “elite establishment” on behalf of the “down-trodden everyman” at every rally.
This image shows the Brexit results, with London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff (as well as all of Scotland) voting to stay in the EU:
Compare this to the election results from the state of Texas – almost everyone’s idea of a traditional Republican stronghold – and you see an eerily similar layout. While Trump took the state (and its 38 electoral votes) with 52.6% of the vote, you can clearly see in the image below that Clinton took all the major urban areas of Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso.
The exact same pattern emerged in New York, where Clinton took the electoral votes, with this time the combined New York City, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo urban areas outweighing the pro-Trump rural areas.
Young vs Old
This election broke the hearts of a generation of American voters. Just as young Brits had voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining in the EU so too had young Americans rallied first behind Bernie Saunders, but then behind Hillary Clinton against the misogynist, anti-LBGTQ, anti-immigration platform of Trump.
White vs Not
Finally more than anything, Trump rode to victory on the backs of white males whipped up into a frenzy by his xenophobic rhetoric. The BBC reported that of the 250 US counties with the highest white population, 249 of them voted Republican with Trump taking at least 58% of the overall white vote, perhaps as much as 70% according to USA Today. There are no polling numbers for the Brexit referendum with regards to race but a telling fact is that the five areas with the highest percentage of “leave” votes were all in the east Midlands where the population is overwhelmingly white but has also seen some of the largest influxes of Eastern European refugees seeking employment.
What Does It Mean?
Months after the likes of UKIP fearmonger Nigel Farage declared, “The the dawn is breaking on an independent nation”, the British government has yet to trigger Article 50 and begin formal talks to leave the European Union. Just last week the UK High Court ruled that Parliament must vote on whether to begin the process, further delaying the timetable.
Will this be the same fate awaiting President Donald Trump’s aggressive, nationalist policies that he pledged to begin upon entering office? Most probably.
Will they be starting “The Wall” come mid-2017? I highly doubt it.
The man who stated during a televised debate that his opponent should be in jail, thanked her for her service to the country during his acceptance speech. Just as Farage lied through his teeth to sway the UK to leave the EU, Trump was willing to say literally anything to get elected.
Duping millions was easy. Now comes the hard part.