A deep dive on the 2020 election

A few weeks ago Catalist published this “What happened in 2020?” report.  It’s really, really good.  If you are an elections nerd, you’ll want to check it out. If not, here’s some of their key take-aways:

LATINO VOTERS CONTINUED TO FAVOR DEMOCRATS, BUT REPUBLICANS MADE INROADS WITH LATINO VOTERS, TOO.

Along with massive increases in turnout, Latino vote share as a whole swung towards Trump by 8 points in two-way vote share compared to 2016, though Biden-Harris still enjoyed solid majority (61%) support among this group. Some of the shift from 2016 appears to be a result of changing voting preferences among people who voted in both elections, and some may come from new voters who were more evenly split in their vote choice than previous Latino voters. This question presents particularly challenging data analysis problems, which we discuss more in a dedicated section below…

BLACK VOTER TURNOUT INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY, RESULTING IN SIGNIFICANT GAINS FOR DEMOCRATS, DESPITE A MODEST OVERALL DROP IN DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT LEVELS.

Black voter turnout increased substantially, while overall Black vote share swung towards Trump by 3 percentage points compared to 2016. This dynamic – many more voters turning out but at a slightly lower Democratic margin – resulted in more net Democratic votes from Black voters in 2020 than in 2016, particularly in several key battleground states. For both Black and Latino voters, we discuss how an expanding electorate might bring marginal voters into the electorate at slightly lower support levels…

THE URBAN-RURAL VOTING DIVIDE CONTINUES TO BE IMMENSELY IMPORTANT, WITH SUBURBS GROWING MORE DEMOCRATIC AND MORE RACIALLY DIVERSE.

The relationship between urbanity and voting is essentially as strong as ever, though it did not grow wider in 2020 than in recent years. Rural areas continued to vote strongly for Trump, while Biden continued to enjoy dominant support levels in cities. There were slight changes in both, however, as Biden’s vote share increased by 1 percentage point in rural areas and dropped by 3 points in urban areas. The Biden-Harris ticket maintained gains in the suburbs that began earlier in the Trump presidency. These gains are not all about white suburban voters, as is sometimes misunderstood. Suburbs are increasingly racially diverse, which accounts for part of the change in voting patterns.

I also really liked these two charts on electoral demographics:

 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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