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Exit poll analysis: Which voters supported Biden or Trump in Georgia and North Carolina?

Election results for Georgia & North Carolina
CBS News projects Biden wins Georgia, Trump wins North Carolina 06:50


In Georgia, which has not voted to send a Democrat to the White House since Bill Clinton won the state in 1992, Joe Biden was able to hold onto some traditional Democratic voting groups like Black voters and younger voters while also making inroads with White voters, particularly those with college degrees, and older voters, CBS News exit polls show.

Also, independents, who had backed Donald Trump in 2016, swung to Joe Biden this time. Independents said it was more important right now to contain the coronavirus than to rebuild the economy.


Mr. Trump won White voters by a large margin in Georgia, but 30% of White voters backed Biden, an improvement from the 21% who supported Hillary Clinton four years ago.

President-elect Biden narrowed the gap significantly among White voters with college degrees. Clinton lost these voters to Mr. Trump by 41 points in 2016, but Mr. Biden cut that margin to 11 points. Mr. Biden gained support with both White college-educated men and women, and he also improved on Clinton's performance in the Atlanta suburbs.

The president did well among conservatives and White voters without college degrees.

Black voters made up a similar share of the electorate in Georgia as they did in 2016 – about three in 10 voters, although more ballots overall were cast compared to four years ago. The president-elect received a similar level of support among Black voters as Clinton did. Ninety-two percent of Black women backed Mr. Biden, higher than the 83% of Black men who supported him.

Mr. Biden won a smaller majority of support from younger voters in Georgia compared to Clinton, but he improved among older voters. The president-elect didn't win the vote among seniors, but he cut the president's advantage to 12 points, down from 36 points four years ago.  Mr. Biden also held an edge among new voters – those for whom this is the first year they ever voted.

Mr. Biden had a big advantage over the president among those who said the coronavirus pandemic was their most important issue and among voters looking for someone who could unite the country.

CBS News reported that Mr. Biden is the presumptive winner in Georgia based on final tallies in from the counties. The final margin was 0.3% and the state will hold a recount. 

North Carolina

Although President Trump was projected by CBS News as the winner of North Carolina, President-elect Joe Biden narrowed the gender gap in North Carolina and turned out Black voters in greater numbers – and won them by slightly larger margins – than Clinton did four years ago, and he narrowly edged out Mr. Trump among White voters with college degrees, by one point. 

Those gains were not enough to overtake Mr. Trump's double-digit advantage among White voters overall, and in particular, White voters without college degrees who Donald Trump won by an enormous 57-point margin – and who comprised four in 10 voters in North Carolina. Mr. Trump also won with the strong support of White evangelical voters, voters who were most concerned about the economy, and voters who said being a strong leader was the most important candidate quality when they were deciding who to vote for.


Mr. Biden won a slight majority of women voters and cut Trump's 18-point lead among men in 2016 in half to just nine points. Much of this surge in support came from Black men, 91% of whom voted for Joe Biden (up from 81% who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016). Ninety-two percent of Black voters overall voted for Mr. Biden — up slightly from the 89% who supported Clinton in 2016 — and they made up 23% of the electorate, up from 20%.  As they did in other battleground states, independents flipped narrowly for the president-elect, but they were outnumbered by Republicans.

Fifty-seven percent of voters under 30 went for Mr. Biden, the same percentage that supported Clinton four years ago, but their share of the electorate was down slightly, and though he retained the support of a majority of voters under 30, a larger percentage cast their vote for Mr. Trump than they did in 2016. And most voters over 45, who made up over six in 10 voters in North Carolina, cast their votes for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Biden made enormous gains among the White college-educated voters who turned out, turning Hillary Clinton's 19-point deficit among this group in 2016 to a plus one advantage, but they were outnumbered by White voters without college degrees. White college-educated voters made up just 26% of the electorate — down five points from four years ago — whereas White voters without degrees held steady at 39% of the electorate. And they went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump 78% to 21%, an even greater margin than he he had four years ago when he won this group.

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