Election 2016: Trump voters on why they backed him

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Scremshots of Trump

When Donald Trump announced he was entering the race for the White House in June 2015, few gave the businessman a chance.

Defying repeated predictions of his political demise, he marched through the primary contests, and has won a decisive victory in the general election.

But he has also been a hugely controversial candidate, accused of divisiveness for his hardline attitude to immigration and national security.

Throughout the campaign, his supporters told the BBC why they are so attracted to him and his message.

Here is what they said.

They are angry with politicians

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Why they love Trump: 'He's not a politician'

"Donald Trump is very real and very sincere. We're tired of being cheated. The more they try to attack him, the more we love him." - Sandra Stone, Florida, March 2016

"The other politicians are controlled by their handlers. He's not." - Vern Engel, Kansas City, August 2015

"He's brought energy back to the people. They want somebody that's not connected with the government." Linda Callahan, Florida, November 2015

They like that 'he tells it like it is'

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Why they love Trump: 'He says what we're thinking'

"I backed Trump from the beginning. Because he calls things out. He does not allow lies to live. He just exposes things. Pastors sometimes need to be politically correct, and Donald Trump is not politically correct, and I love that about him" - Crystal Myers, California, May 2016

"He's outspoken. Other candidates wouldn't tell you how it is, but he does." - Betty Tully, August 2015

"I like that he's over the top. My president needs bravado... somebody who is big and loud, strong and powerful." - Victoria Wilen, Orlando, Florida, November 2015

"He doesn't hold back. You get what he really believes in, even if everything that he says isn't what is the right thing exactly." - Nicholas Poucher, Florida, December 2015

They value his business experience

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Why they love Trump: 'A successful businessman'

"Passionate, driven, confident, motivated….I think I've seen him really successful as a businessman, so I'd like to see how he'd be as a leader of the United States." Taylar Martin, a 19-year-old student at American University in Washington DC.

"I think he's really someone who understands economics and international finance on a global level in many ways beyond just theory but real first-hand experience " - Issac Eves, Florida, March 2016

"He has so much money but he's waking up every morning to campaign. He deeply cares about America," John Friedlander, Washington DC, May 2016

"He's the epitome of a business success... he's got contacts in all these countries." John Hikel, New Hampshire, January 2016

They agree with him on Mexicans and Muslims

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Why they love Trump: The 'wall' and Muslim ban

"We need to close the borders... It has to be done the right way and they can't just come into our country and expect us to take care of them, take our jobs, and then for us to have to support them, and all the things America has to do to help them out.

"That's not being ugly about anybody or not liking people or not wanting to help people. It's just that it needs to be done the right way. We have so many people in our country that we need to help as well." - Peggy Smith Shortt, South Carolina, May 2016

"My ancestors were immigrants from Ireland in the 1700s, and I support legal immigration in the way our forefathers intended it to be. The current immigration system is broken and millions are taking advantage of it, while having a negative impact on the entire US." - Nascar driver David Ragan, May 2016

They want to 'Make America Great Again'

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Why they love Trump: 'Making America Great Again'

"Trump has instilled hope in people. If he does what he says he's gonna do, we would be less fearful. We fear the federal government very much." Robert Sandifer, South Carolina, January 2016

"In the bigger picture he does have a lot to learn, but we all know he's an excellent manager and very, very bright. I have faith that he will learn and develop the policies that will make America the superpower that we want it to be." - Kathy Baker, Virginia, December 2015

"I don't see that America [of 30 years ago] anymore. So when Trump says make America great again, I fully agree with him." - Jesse Singh, Maryland, March 2016

"I'm 66 years old. Our country is in trouble and we need to do something." - Mary Faulk, Virginia, December 2015

More on attraction of Trump

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Who are the women who support Trump?

Interviews compiled by Taylor Kate Brown, Teniola Ayoola and Max Matza