What the 2020 Election Tells Us

by Jonathan Hobratsch

  1. Trump’s policies and rhetoric were unpopular. Biden won back states where Trump focused his 2016 rhetoric — “I alone can fix it.” He did not. The Southern Border states became much more supportive of Democrats.

2. Black Lives Matters won. Cities and suburbs carried Biden to victory. Minneapolis and Atlanta, arguably the two biggest BLM battlegrounds, provided a large margin for Biden in MN and a likely win in GA.

3. Presidential Approval ratings and disapproval ratings shouldn’t be ignored. Trump was never popular, generally showing 40-44% approval and 51-54% disapproval.

4. Negative-Partisanship–the idea of disliking a candidate fueling turnout more than liking a candidate–might have more validity, especially since we are in a time of hyper-partisanship.

5. Biden’s focus on getting the vote out early via mail in ballots and drop offs, especially when he was about +11 vs Trump in the polls, was crucial to his win. By not campaigning, Biden underscored the need to vote early.

6. Along with this, Trump’s brushing off of the deadly impact of Covid and trashing of early voting, etc., allowed for Biden’s landslide in early voting, which was crucial to Biden’s victory.

7. Trump was such an unpopular president that Biden defeated him without really campaigning much. Trump was sprinting and still lost to a shuffling Biden.

8. On the other side, Biden’s lack of campaigning and Trump’s furious campaigning, helped GOP down ballots. Govs, Sens, and Reps go to these rallies. Democrats often mirrored Biden by not really campaigning, GOP ignored health risks to avoid political risk.

9. Obama is a power surrogate. This was as much a win for him as it was for Biden.

10. The election is not over. The two Georgia runoff US Senate elections will determine the US Senate. All money must go into flooding this state with volunteers who drive Democrats to the polls on election day, and etc.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Keen analysis. You say DT was unpopular, which is true for more than half the electorate. But the remainder, about 4 million people fewer than voted for Biden, must have approved of him. That is a significant bloc.


  2. sdu754 says:

    Trump’s policies weren’t unpopular, but he himself was personally unlikable. That’s why Republicans performed much better than he did. Generally the winning candidate will have coattails that helps his party down ticket, the opposite was true this time. In fact the opposite happened in 2012, where Obama was personally popular, but the public disliked his programs so they returned more Republican’s down ticket.


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