The United States presidential election of 2020 was the 59th quadrennial American presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The contest took place between the Republican candidate and incumbent President, Donald J. Trump, and his Democratic challenger, centrist Governor William Johannson of Minnesota. Johannson united all wings of his party, avoided divisive cultural issues, and selected a progressive minority Democrat, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, as his running mate. Trump, on his part, was dogged by his low approval ratings, by the extreme unpopularity of the American Health Care Act (which had cost the Republican Party its majority in the U.S. House in 2018), by the failures of U.S. foreign policy with regards to Syria, Iran, and North Korea, by the state bailout crisis of 2019-20 and the ensuing economic recession, and by continuing questions over his ethics and his foreign connections. Johannson, consequently, won by a landslide in both the popular and electoral vote, obtaining 61.1% of the popular vote, tied with Lyndon Johnson's record in 1964 as the highest percentage won by any candidate in history.
Trump's unsuccessful bid spelled an end to the Reagan Era in American politics and triggered a long-term realignment within the Republican Party which would ultimately culminate in the victory of Tim Scott in the election of 2032. His campaign continued to receive considerable support from traditional Republican strongholds in the South and West. Conversely, Johannson won the state of Alaska for the Democrats, for only the second time in its history, as well as Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Utah (all for the first time since 1964), along with a number of other Southern and Western states which had not gone Democratic since the 1990s. Moreover, the Democrats expanded their majority in the U.S. House and won control of the U.S. Senate, thereby giving Johannson a definitive mandate as he entered office.
The election was held on November 3, 2020. Johannson beat Trump in the general election, winning over 61% of the popular vote, tied with Lyndon B. Johnson's record in 1964 as the highest percentage of the popular vote won, since the popular vote first became widespread in 1824. In the end, Trump won only six traditionally Republican states in the South and West-Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia, along with Nebraska's 3rd congressional district, where he had obtained his greatest margins of victory over Hillary Clinton four years earlier. Johannson captured 508 electoral votes (out of 535 possible), carrying 44 states and the District of Columbia. This election saw the worst Republican performance since Barry Goldwater's landslide defeat fifty-six years earlier. Trump's 30 electoral votes, moreover, were the fewest for a Republican presidential candidate since Alf Landon earned only eight against Franklin D. Roosevelt in his landslide reelection of 1936.
The election was one of several electoral milestones, for many states voted Democratic for the first time in decades. Johannson became only the second Democrat in history (following Johnson), to win the state of Alaska. And he was the first since Johnson to win the states of Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas. He became the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to win South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas, the first since Bill Clinton in 1992 to win Georgia and Montana, and the first since Clinton in 1996 to win Arizona, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana. He was also only the second Democrat since Johnson to win Indiana (following Barack Obama) and the second since Carter (following Obama) to win North Carolina.
Of the 3,144 counties, independent cities, and districts making returns, Johannson won in 2,370 (75.38%) while Trump carried 774 (24.62%).
The Johannson landslide defeated many conservative Republican congressmen, giving him a majority that could enact his legislation.
|United States presidential election, 2020|
Margin of victory less than 1% (8 electoral votes):
- Kentucky, 0.99%
Margin of victory less than 5% (13 electoral votes):
- Idaho, 1.83%
- Alabama, 2.30%
Margin of victory over 5%, but less than 10% (31 electoral votes):
- Nebraska, 5.21%
- Tennessee, 7.36%
- South Dakota, 8.25%
- Kansas, 9.03%
- Utah, 9.73%
Results by Demographic GroupEdit
|Group (%)||William B. Johannson (Democratic)||Donald J. Trump (Republican)|
|High school or less||56||44|
|Some college education||55||45|
|Prof & Business||57||43|
|50 and older||59||41|
Results by StateEdit
|State||William B. Johannson (Democratic)||Donald J. Trump (Republican)|
|District of Columbia||97.93%||2.07%|
|Total||61.05% (44 states + D.C., 508)||38.47% (6 states + N.E. 03, 30)|
- This was the first time since 1964 that the following states voted Democratic: Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Utah.
- This was the first time since 1976 that the following states voted Democratic: Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.
- This was the first time since 1992 that the following states voted Democratic: Georgia and Montana.
- This was the first time since 1996 that the following states voted Democratic: Arizona, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
- Indiana voted Democratic for only the third time since World War II, while North Carolina did so for only the second time since 1976.
- This was the first time since 1964 that a Democrat won a double-digit margin in the popular vote and more than three-fifths of the electoral vote.
- This was the first time since 1976 that a Democrat won the majority of the nation's counties. Johannson won 2,370 to Trump's 774.
- Johannson won every county in ten states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii.
- This was the first time since 1996 that a Democrat won at least one county in every state. For the first time since 2000, a Democrat won counties in Oklahoma, and for the first time since 2008, in West Virginia.
- This was the first time since 1964 that a Democrat won the majority of the white vote (52%). Johannson captured 52% of the non-college educated white vote and 56% of the college-educated white vote.
- Johannson won the majority of the white vote in every state except for Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi.
- Johannson won 81% of the non-white vote, including 92% of African-Americans, 77% of Hispanics, and 71% of Asians/other voters.
- 60% of men and 62% of women voted for Johannson, marking the first time since 1964 that the Democrats won the majority of both genders.
- 1,892 counties which had voted for Trump four years earlier flipped to Johannson, joining the 487 counties that had been won by Clinton in voting for the Democratic ticket.
- Exit polls revealed that approximately 90% of all of the voters who had cast their ballots for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, Darrell Castle, Bernie Sanders (Vermont), and for other/write-in candidates four years earlier, united behind Johannson. The third-party vote share fell from 6% to roughly 0.5%, lower than even in 2012. 660,988 voters cast their ballots for third party, other, or write-in candidates in this election. Gary Johnson received 330,494 votes (or approximately 0.33%), a far cry from the 4.4 million (3.28%) he had received in the last election. Jill Stein received 196,646 votes (approximately 0.14%), much lower than the 1.4 million (1.07%) from the prior election. Write-ins, assorted minor parties (i.e. Constitution, Peace and Freedom, etc.), and independents received the remaining 133,848 votes (approximately 0.04%).
- 99% of Democrats, 61% of independents, and 20% of Republicans (who represented approximately 7% of the electorate) voted for Johannson. This election saw the highest defection rates among the opposition party since Ronald Reagan's re-election in 1984, in which he had won 26% of Democrats.
- Johannson won an array of voters, ranging from young progressives to moderate independents, and from middle-class Bernie Sanders enthusiasts to wealthy never-Trump Republicans. At the time of the election, Trump had an approval rating of just 19%.
- Turnout increased from the previous election. Among African-Americans, it rose from 59% to 66%; among Hispanics, from 47% to 53%; and among Asians/Others, from 48% to 55%. Among whites, turnout remained consistent, at 66%. Overall, 137,705,976 people voted, a increase of 1,036,739 over 2016. 60.71% of the voting-eligible population and 55.95% of the voting-age population participated, as compared to 60.20% and 55.40% respectively in the previous election. Thus, turnout was higher in 2020 than in either 2016 or 2012, but still lower than that of 2008.
- Johannson's 61.1% tied with Lyndon Johnson's 1964 record as the highest percentage of the popular vote won by a major-party candidate since 1820. He defeated Trump by a margin of 22.58%, or an absolute difference of 31,106,560 votes, the largest margin in absolute votes won by a presidential candidate in history. Trump's 38.5% tied with that obtained by Barry Goldwater in 1964.
- Johannson won the support of 84,075,730 voters, becoming the first presidential candidate in history to receive more than 80 million votes. He gained 18,222,214 voters over what Clinton obtained in 2016. Trump was supported by 52,969,170 voters, losing the support of 10,015,655 voters.
- This was the first time since 1924 that every county in New England was won by a single presidential candidate. Johannson won at least 60% of the vote in each Northeastern state, breaking 70% in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Outside of the Northeast, Johannson also broke 70% in Maryland, California, Washington, and Hawaii.
- This was the second time since the implementation of proportional allocation, in 1992, that Nebraska's electoral votes were split. Johannson won the at-large vote, as well as the votes from the 1st and 2nd districts; Trump won the 3rd district.