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Presidential election post-mortem examines exit poll stats in wake of Trump's defeat

The report focused on five states that Trump won in 2016 and 2020 and five other states that he won in 2016 but then lost in 2020.

Published: February 2, 2021 7:35pm

Updated: February 3, 2021 8:23am

An exit poll analysis focusing on 10 critical states includes information that could help shed light on Donald Trump's 2020 election defeat.

Prepared by Trump 2016 campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio's firm Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, the campaign post-mortem focused on five "held" states that Trump won in 2016 and 2020 — Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas — and five "flipped" states that he won in 2016 but then lost in 2020 — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

In the batch of five flipped states, Trump's performance among white voters slipped slightly compared to 2016, while Biden gained in comparison to Clinton's performance among the demographic. Among the group of five states that Trump won in both election contests, Trump's support from white voters remained steady while Biden outperformed Clinton among the demographic. 

While both Trump and Biden were underwater when it came to being viewed as honest and trustworthy, Trump fared worse than Biden in both the flipped and held states.

Coronavirus topped the list as the most important issue, but President Trump was slightly underwater on his coronavirus job approval in the five held states and more deeply underwater in the five flipped states. Biden was perceived as being better able to deal with coronavirus than Trump in both the flipped and the held states.

Politico, which posted a copy of the report online, said that the report had been finished in December and disseminated to then-President Trump's top political advisers shortly prior to Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. The outlet noted that it is not clear if Trump himself has ever viewed the report.

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