Three Western States where Trump Gained and Why

Market Research Foundation pointed out in early August an uptick in support for President Trump’s Law and Order message in Western states coinciding with heavy rioting and threats to defund the police. Minorities and suburban voters showed signs of shifting toward the GOP this summer, and November exit polls indicate this shift was significant in several Western states. Women and young voters also shifted toward the GOP in the West compared to four years ago.

MRF analyzed CNN exit polls from the November 3rd election and compared those numbers to 2016 and found Trump made substantial gains against his 2016 numbers in California, Washington, and Nevada. He gained significantly with White women in California – plus 5 points, suburbanites in Washington – plus 6 points, and Latinos and Blacks in Nevada – plus 6 points each.


Although Biden beat Trump in California 63.7% to Trump’s 34.1% this year, Trump lost by less compared to 2016. In 2016, Trump lost California 31.5% to Clinton’s 61.5%, giving him a gain of 2.6% this year over his 2016 numbers.

Where did this shift emerge from? One clue lies in the difference between third party voters. In 2016, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green candidate Jill Stein earned a combined 5.4% of the vote in California, but this year Libertarian Jo Jorgensen won just 1.1% and Green candidate Howie Hawkins won just half a percent. Given Trump’s 2.6% gain between 2016 and 2020, it appears that at least in part, would-be third-party voters shifted toward Trump.

White women also shifted significantly toward Trump this year compared to 2016. Trump gained 5 points with White women in California, going from 40% in 2016 to 45% this year.

Another group Trump gained with in California this year compared to 2016 is younger voters. Trump gained with older Millennials, earning 28% of 30 to 39-year-olds this year up from 23% in 2016.

Trump also gained with Generation Z, earning 21% of 18 to 24-year-olds this year, up from 18% in 2016. Market Research Foundation analysis on Generation Z shows a portion of younger voters living in traditionally blue states may be shifting away from dominant leftwing ideologies in favor of conservative views.


Another reliably blue state that became infamous for its police-free ‘CHAZ’ commune in downtown Seattle saw a modest shift toward Trump compared to 2016, particularly in King County where Seattle sits.

Although Joe Biden beat Trump 58.4% to Trump’s 39% this year, Trump gained just over 2 points against his 2016 numbers when he earned 36.8% of the vote in Washington.

Trump gained 6 points with suburban voters in Washington, going from 42% in 2016 to 48% this year. He also made modest gains against his 2016 numbers in ultra-liberal King County which includes the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, earning 23% of King County voters, up from 20% in 2016. Trump also gained with younger voters in Washington, earning 34% of 18 to 44-year-olds this year compared to 31% in 2016.


President Trump appears to have lost Nevada 47.7% to Biden’s 50.1%, but he gained on his 2016 numbers when he earned 45.5% of the vote.

Trump’s largest gains in Nevada by far came from suburban voters where he gained 8 points against his 2016 numbers. Forty-one percent of suburban Nevada voters supported Trump this year, up from 33% four years ago. He also made modest gains with urbanites in Nevada, going from 44% in 2016 to 46% this year.

Trump also gained substantially with Black and Latino voters in Nevada. This year 18% of Black Americans supported Trump compared to 12% four years ago. He earned a full 35% of the Latino vote in Nevada this year, compared to 29% four years ago.

Much focus has been placed on suburban voter shifts, particularly suburban women. However, Trump also gained against his 2016 numbers with urban voters in 2020. Nationwide, Trump won 38% of urban voters, up from 34% four years ago. Urban Black women supported Trump at higher rates than either rural Black or suburban Black women, according to recently released data from Heart and Mind Strategies. Eleven percent of urban Black women supported Trump this year, compared to 10% of suburban Black women and 5% of rural Black women. Nine percent of Black women overall supported Trump, up from just 4% in 2016.

The left’s race-baiting and refusal to put an end to violence and lawlessness drove minorities, women, young voters and suburbanites toward the GOP, even in relatively liberal Western States. If left-wing politicians continue to threaten Americans with a “defund the police” agenda and refuse to restore peace and safety, this exodus is likely to continue.