Almost one-third of Hispanic voters supported Republican Donald Trump in Tuesday's presidential election, a higher number than expected — and one that helped propel him to the presidency.
USA Today cited Edison Research data that shows Democrat Hillary Clinton won the Hispanic vote Tuesday, which was expected. The difference was 65 percent to 29 percent — smaller than the winning margin garnered by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 (72 percent to 21 percent) and President Barack Obama in 2012 (71 percent to 27 percent).
Former President George W. Bush was originally thought to receive 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, reports USA Today, but that was later changed to 40 percent.
The numbers from Tuesday's election were different than the tale pre-election polls told — a common theme among many voting demographics on election night.
"That's implausible," Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz told USA Today. "We're going to see some debate about this question."
Another political science professor, Daniel Smith of the University of Florida, told USA Today the Hispanic vote likely didn't give Trump as much of an edge overall as some think.
"You can't lay this on Hispanics," Smith said. "I don't think that's where the election was won or lost. It had to do with white, suburban voters, especially women, breaking much more for Trump than anyone expected."
Trump began his campaign in 2015 by talking about problems with illegal immigration, which riled up Hispanic voters from the start. His desire to have a wall constructed between the United States and Mexico only added to that angst.
A recent poll, however, showed that 49 percent of Hispanics would support sending illegal immigrants back to their home country.
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