Historically blue state makes the largest pro-Trump swing since 2016
by Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, November 12, 2020
One of the 2020 election’s biggest surprises turned out to be Hawaii, which saw the biggest pro-Trump swing since 2016, despite its long history of voting for Democrats.
“Hawaii is on track for both the nation’s: 1) largest raw vote increase vs. 2016 (33.8% so far) 2) biggest pro-Trump swing vs. 2016 (-32.2 pts to -29.5 pts) If anything, the move to universal mail ballots might have *helped* Trump by drawing out relatively disengaged voters,” noted NBC contributor Dave Wasserman on Twitter.
A Republican presidential candidate has not won Hawaii since former President Ronald Reagan in his landslide 1984 victory, which only saw him lose Washington, D.C. and Minnesota. While President Trump didn't win the state, his improvement there in a year that he lost ground in other states prompted Wasserman to speculate on what may have happened.
“Another possibility: Hawaii is simply a working-class, overwhelmingly non-white state where a small segment of voters in real economic distress responded to Trump’s COVID message similarly to Hispanic voters in South TX and South FL,” Wasserman later tweeted.
Trump’s performance among non-white voters, most notably Hispanics, was another major surprise of the 2020 election. In Texas, Trump flipped five border counties with majority-Hispanic populations that voted overwhelmingly for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. In 12 other border counties, Trump made double-digit gains over his 2016 performance, including one majority Hispanic county that saw Trump gain 55 points compared to 2016.
A similar story played out in Florida, where Trump was captured nearly half of the Hispanic vote on his way to a larger victory in the state than in 2016. Miami-Dade County, which has a 69.4% Hispanic majority, made a 22-point swing toward Trump in 2020.
Trump was also able to make gains among black voters, carrying 12% of that demographic in 2020 compared to only 8% in 2016, according to early exit polls.
Only 25.5% of Hawaii’s population is white alone.