The educational gap, the differences between urban and rural America and the forces that drove the outcome in the cities explained in 3 charts.
#1: Educational achievement is a predictor of candidate preference
Educational achievement is highly correlated with the election results. The higher the educational achievement the higher the margin in favor of the Dems. No states voting Republican have more than 10.25% of the active adult population earning Advanced degrees (“Divisory Line” in the chart above). Only 3 States that voted Democratic have less than 10.25% of the active adult population earning Advanced Degrees: Hawaii, Maine and Nevada.
#2: The Dems lost the elections in small towns and the country side
Hillary Clinton did better than Barack Obama in Metropolitan Areas over 700,000 inhabitants. This is true for the cities and the suburbs. However, she did much worse than Barack Obama outside of those Metropolitan Areas, losing more than 5 percentual points and 6 million votes vs. Obama. Cities are more diverse and wealthier. Small cities and the country side are whiter and poorer.
#3: Trump lost big in West cities and in cities with a large Hispanic population, but he won big in the “Rust Belt”
Clinton lost the elections in the Rust Belt. Even in the cities, where the Dems are stronger, there were significant losses in the Rust Belt. She lost 147,000 votes vs. Obama in Detroit, a number that it’s 12 times the margin of her defeat in Michigan. The results in Dayton, Cleveland and St. Louis explain in large degree her defeat in the Electoral College. Note: results for San Francisco and Seattle are partial.