Following on from yesterday.
Exhibit A (click on map for enlarged version) 2016 electoral college votes:
1: 100% (7/7) of the most heavily smoking states voted Republican (red).
2: 90% (9/10) of the second most heavily smoking states voted Republican.
3: 56% (9/16) of the third most heavily smoking states voted Republican.
4: 28% (4/14) of the fourth most heavily smoking states voted Republican.
5: 33% (1/3) of the least heavily smoking states voted Republican.
A couple of states seem to have gone missing, and I’ve assumed that one or other of the eastern seaboard states has the lowest level of adult smoking prevalence
Whichever way, the correlation is clear: US states with high smoking prevalence voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
May we not say that smokers were decisive in electing Donald Trump?
But perhaps some further explanation is needed for why smokers voted for Trump in 2016, but not Romney in 2012.
The answer, I suggest, is that Hillary Clinton was very strongly identified as a virulent antismoker in US smokers’ eyes. She had been instrumental in introducing a smoking ban into the White House during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and (H/T MJM),
…she engineered what turned out to likely be the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WORLD with the SCHIP tax increase of over 2,000% on loose tobacco and small cigars.
So US smokers were powerfully motivated to vote against Hillary Clinton, out of fear at what new antismoking measures her presidency might bring (e.g. a federal smoking ban?). For smokers Trump might have been an ambiguous figure (he doesn’t smoke or drink, and once made a slightly tongue-in-cheek antismoking ad – yet he also owned a smoke-filled casino in Atlantic City, markets his own brand of wine, and has smoker-sympathetic Mike Pence as VP). Of the two, Hillary Clinton was the far, far, scarier figure.
As for Obama v Romney in 2012, Obama had been (and was widely believed to continue to be) a smoker, and had only given up smoking when wife Michelle demanded he do so. Obama was not even half as scary as Hillary, and smokers felt no need to vote against him.
Needless to say, no pollster will notice the correlation demonstrated above, and all pollsters will continue to ignore smokers as a powerful
smoking voting bloc.