The 2012 election was not an open one, however, since Obama was running for reelection. When we compare Republican nominee performances in prior open elections, we see that Trump made important gains among black voters as well as whites. The figure below presents net Republican support, meaning voter support for the Republican nominee minus voter support for the Democratic nominee. The GOP advantage among white voters was 9 points higher in 2016 than in 2008, which may be due as much to whites’ reluctance to vote for Obama in 2008 as to their enthusiasm for Trump in 2016.
At the same time, Trump performed better with black voters than McCain did in 2008, and on par with Bush’s performance in 2000.
Trump performed as well as McCain did with Latino voters in 2008, and did only somewhat worse than Bush in 2000 — which is surprising given the way that Trump launched his campaign with incendiary remarks about Mexican rapists, kicked out a prominent Mexican American journalist from a news conference, and questioned the fairness of Hispanic judges.
Finally, among Asian Americans, Trump performed significantly worse than Bush did in 2000, and marginally worse than McCain did in 2008.