Insights from Updated Popular Vote Totals for Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

Posted by Rob Richie on April 09, 2016

Thanks for careful work by research associate Haley Smith, we've updated our popular vote totals for all the Democratic and Republican presidential nomination contests in 2016. Instead of relying only on Politico, we went straight to state government and party websites and made various updates.

As reported before, the overall story remains the same: strong popular vote leads for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and more than 640,000 votes cast for candidates after they withdrew. But by breaking out vote totals in caucuses and primaries, it's clear that the populist surge of votes for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have real differences. Not only do exit poll show that Trump has no particular appeal to young voters -- in contrast to Sanders, who regularly wins more than 80% of voters under 30 - -but Sanders does far better in caucuses based on passionate, organized followers.  

Sanders leads Clinton by 67% to 33% in caucuses, but trails 57% to 41% in higher turnout primaries. In contrast, Trump leads Ted Cruz by 37.5% to 28% in primaries, but trails him 38.6% to 27.2% in caucuses. Of course some of these patterns are due to which states have held caucuses and primaries, but the patterns remain clear.

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