36 presidential candidates appeared on at least one ballot in 2020. This is five more than the 31 candidates who appeared on at least one ballot in 2016.
35.6% of incumbents did not seek re-election this year. This is lower than the 38.6% in 2018 and 45.2% in 2016 who did not seek re-election. [Ballotpedia 10/19/20]
In 2016, Trump won Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by a combined 77,000 votes. In 2020, Joe Biden won those same three states by a combined 214,000 votes (and counting). [Meet the Press- First Read 11/10/20]
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), who won a tight race, said the number one issue that voters brought up to her was the “defund the police” policy, and she said that if Democrats really meant redirecting funds toward other community programs, they should say that.
“And we need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again,” Spanberger said, according to a recording of the private Democratic caucus call. “Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of that.”
She added that if Democrats were classifying this election as a success, “we are going to get fucking torn apart in 2022.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said she felt like moderates were asking her to be quiet. “To be real, it sounds like you are saying stop pushing for what Black folks want,” Tlaib said, according to a New York Times account of the conference call.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), leader of the Progressive Caucus, also took issue with the doom and gloom of some moderates, saying that the election was still a “huge win” for Democrats and that they were able to turn out large numbers of Black, brown, and young people.
Jayapal is correct about Black and brown voters but overstates the growth in the 18-29-year-old population.
As of November 16th (the total number of 2020 voters will likely increase):
- There has been a 17% increase in the total number of voters between 2016 and 2020.
- The number of Black and Hispanic voters combined has grown from 23% in 2016 to 26% in 2020.
- The number of 18-29-year-old voters has grown by 4.7%.
- The number of Black voters has grown by 26.8%.
- The number of Hispanic voters has grown by 28.3%.
|Year||Total voters||18-29-year-olds||# of voters||Net additional|
Following the 2020 elections, Republicans will continue to hold a larger number of state trifectas – control of the governorship and both houses of the legislature.
Republicans will have 23 trifectas, a net gain of 2. Democrats will have 15 trifectas and 12 will have divided governments, a net loss of 2. [Ballotpedia 11/17]
According to Nielsen, 56.9 million people tuned in to watch coverage of the 2020 U.S. presidential election during prime time across 21 networks on November 3rd. This is down from 71.4 million viewers across 12 networks in 2016. [Morning Media Newsfeed 11/5/20]
The Exit Polls
There is some controversy about the value of/reliability of exit polls given
the number of people who voted by mail or drop box. Folks who WW trusts say they are valuable. The following 2020 numbers are preliminary results as published by the Washington Post and will likely be changed when the final votes are available.
|2020||2016 (CNN exit polls)|
|65 and older||16%||22%|
|Sex by race|
|$100,000 or more||26%||34%|
|Most important issue in your vote for president|
|Crime and safety||11%||xxx|
|When did you decide for whom to vote?|
|Decided in the last week||5%||13%|
|Decided before last week||91%||85%|
Bruce Mehlman produces a periodic election related newsletter. His most recent newsletter was published on November 10.
The following information is from several of the newsletter’s charts followed by a link to the whole newsletter.
The 2020 election represented the highest voter turnout of eligible voters since 1900. (WW selected years to include from Mehlman list.)
|Year||Percentage of eligible voters||Total eligible voters (not from newsletter)|
|2020||66.4% of eligible voters||239,247,182|
|1960||63.8% of eligible voters||109,672,000|
|1940||62.4% of eligible voters||84,728,000|
|1908||65.7% of eligible voters||Not available|
|1900||73.7% of eligible voters||Not available|
|Before Election||After Election|
|State Leg. Chambers||59R-39D||61R-37D|
Only four legislative chambers switched parties in 2019/2020. This is the fewest since 1946 when four also switched.
The combined spending of presidential and congressional campaigns was twice as great as any previous election.
Partisan Breakdown of Election Spending