Even in defeat, Trump found new voters across the United States

Nov 17, 2020 Travel News

Even in defeat, Trump found new voters across the United States

Marked or energized by President Trump’s four years, Americans voted in record numbers for the 2020 election, despite a pandemic.

Once again, Mr Trump has found a wealth of new followers in a rapidly declining monolith of white blue-collar voters who have gone largely unrecognized by public opinion polls. He further clouded expectations by adding a substantial number of votes in areas also with large numbers of Hispanic residents.

But while Mr. Trump’s divisive message and the norm-defying presidency galvanized unexpected numbers of fans in 2020, they alienated a larger one. Mr Biden used the enthusiasm of a slightly tarnished Democratic coalition, as well as a wave of desertions from the Republican white middle class, to win.







An analysis of voting patterns in more than 2,500 counties where the count was at least 95% complete shows some of the main ways this flow of voters upset traditional political alignments, ushering in a new stage for the post-Trump era .

Trump’s feat

After winning what many saw as a fluke in 2016, Mr. Trump organized a counties registration and participation campaign in his white blue-collar base that appears to be successful.

“The Trump campaign has worked on this for years and kept it pretty much a secret,” said Larry J. Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia. “They told us they were doing it, but we really didn’t know the extent of it.”

Trump’s votes have mushroomed in Appalachia and southern Piedmont, in many counties that diverged from the country’s adoption of the first black American president – Barack Obama – in 2008. He found even more votes in the rural centers of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; and farmland in the Midwest.

And in a feat that could spark years of Democratic twisting, Mr. Trump won a fair share of additional Hispanic voters and may have enjoyed some enthusiasm for Mr. Biden in some high-population Democratic counties. black.

Change in number of votes cast, by county type

Large counties with a majority of people of color
32 counties

+ 22%

+ 30%

Hispanic majority
47 counties

+ 19%

+ 37%

Mostly black
39 counties

+ 6%

+ 8%

It is true that substantial majorities still voted Democratic in areas with concentrations of people of color. But in a polarized and equally divided electorate, any change can be significant.

The participation rate in the Philadelphia neighborhood, where the population is predominantly black, fell 6%. In the predominantly rural areas of the predominantly black South, the turnout increased only slightly and there was a modest shift towards Mr. Trump. The exception was hotly contested in Georgia, where turnout in areas with a high proportion of black voters was on the rise and shifted to Mr Biden.

The trend in predominantly Hispanic counties was more pronounced, widespread and perhaps surprising in light of the President’s sweeping immigration policies and divisive messages. This change has been particularly marked in South Florida, where many Cuban Americans live. This was also apparent in the South Texas counties which are predominantly Mexican-American, and in the flood of new voters in Phoenix, where Mr. Biden’s success in adding to Clinton’s totals in 2016 was noticeably lower in the Hispanic regions.

“The president has made significant inroads with critical non-white sections of the electorate while increasing his share of rural white voters,” said Ken Spain, a Republican strategist. “In any other election year, that would be an incredible feat that would virtually guarantee victory.”

How did Biden win then?

There was a compensating force. Mr Biden’s largest reserve of additional voters came from large counties – urban and suburban – which are mostly white, where his support increased significantly from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 vote.

This includes counties like DuPage in Illinois, Macomb outside of Detroit, and Montgomery outside of Philadelphia.

But that also includes major cities in the South and West, like Charlotte, North Carolina; Fort Worth; Phoenix and Seattle. In Republican Fort Worth, Mr. Biden won 121,000 more votes than Ms. Clinton; Mr. Trump received 62,000 more votes than in 2016. In Seattle, Mr. Biden’s increase of 186,000 votes eclipsed Mr. Trump’s 51,000 additional votes.

Change in number of votes cast, by county type

Large white majority counties
28 counties

+ 26%

+ 17%

Majority white, college graduate and republican
22 counties

+ 21%

+ 7%

In fact, Mr. Biden’s best hunting grounds for new voters were the posh Republican counties. In areas with a very high concentration of high-income white voters who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, Mr. Biden garnered many more additional votes than his opponent.

Statistically, whether or not American voters had a college degree was by far the most significant predictor of where the 2020 tide of extra turnout was highest, and who won it. This measure is a proxy for socioeconomic status – closely following higher income models. Thus, it could also be an indicator of cultural security, comfort and emancipation.

There was a blatant schism in the white vote along this fault line: Populist areas, highlighted by concentrations of white voters without a college degree, shifted towards Mr. Trump. White areas with more educated populations, whether cities, suburbs or university towns, have moved away decisively.

Change in number of votes cast, by county type

Mostly white, college graduate
31 counties

+ 26%

+ 11%

Mostly white, no college
215 counties

+ 11%

+ 15%

The result was a substantial popular vote margin for Mr Biden and just enough votes on the battlefield to win the Electoral College.

Change in number of votes cast in battlefield states

15 counties

+ 44%

+ 33%

61 counties

+ 17%

+ 24%

159 counties

+ 32%

+ 18%

83 counties

+ 23%

+ 16%

North Carolina
100 counties

+ 23%

+ 17%

67 counties

+ 17%

+ 13%

136 counties

+ 39%

+ 26%

72 counties

+ 18%

+ 15%

“Trump’s appeal to white college graduates, especially women, has never been very strong,” said Mr. Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia. “Trump’s character and office antics caused his support among this large group to plummet. The blue collar workers loved it, but their numbers couldn’t substitute for losses elsewhere. ”