By: Chloe Hirth
The highly-contested 2020 Presidential Election has been officially called in favor of President-Elect Joe Biden over sitting President Donald Trump.
How did we reach these controversial results?
People of the suburbs packed a punch. Women, notably Black women, also made their presence known.
The Suburbs in 2016
Back in 2016, Donald Trump secured a victory against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the electoral college. The national popular vote showed 48% of voters in favor of Clinton, opposed to 46% of voters for President Trump. And the suburban vote stood out. In 2016, approximately 53% of President Trump’s voters were from the suburbs. Secretary of State Clinton, on the other hand, had about a 48% composition of suburban voters in her overall pool.
Biden and Trump Battle for the 'Burbs
Suburban voters were expected to be important yet again in 2020, so the two candidates made a point to reach these communities.
President Trump utilized vivid, powerful claims that Biden would 'ruin' suburban neighborhoods. He capitalized off of racially charged fear-mongering tactics, such as the violent imagery from BLM protests, to paint a picture that Vice President Biden would allow such chaos to ensue in suburbia. These pleas were rampant in campaign advertisements and speeches at Trump’s large rallies.
Biden struck back while also using appeals of fear by alluding to violent imagery of white supremacist groups and violence that occurred within President Trump’s term, exemplified in his “Soul of America” advertisement. Biden emphasized that President Trump caused national divisiveness and that as president, Biden himself would be the unifier we need.
Despite heavy-hitting appeals on both sides, President-Elect Biden won the battle of the suburbs. Biden won suburban voters 50% to Trump’s 48%, a flip from the 2016 results in which President Trump won the suburbs.
Women Making Their Voices Heard
Winning the suburban population was an important notch on the path to a Biden victory, but his campaign's success is especially endowed to a growth in women voters, specifically the consistency and dedication of Black women voters.
In 2016, Secretary of State Clinton collected more women’s votes than President Trump, compared 54% to 39%. Clinton also won high amounts of votes from minority women populations, such as Black women and Hispanic women. President Trump, however, won the white women. A New York Times exit poll concluded that over half of voting white women voted in favor of Trump in 2016, whereas Black women overwhelmingly voted for Clinton (Rogers).
This added to the pressure of securing the women vote in 2020.
2020 yielded a Democrat success as President-Elect Biden won 57% of votes from women, including more gains in college-educated white women. These votes gave a definite push against Trump and may have helped Biden secure the key toss-up states that Clinton lost in the last election.
Black Women for Biden
Women stood up for Biden, but the votes of Black women were noticeably loud and proud, aiding in Biden’s success. 91% of Black women voted for Joe Biden. This could be for a number of reasons such as Biden’s outspoken solidarity with George Floyd, his encouragement of peaceful protests, or his selection of African American and South Asian Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Another aspect could be the growing racial and economic diversity amongst suburbs. Regardless of the campaign tactics, the dedication of this population should not go unnoticed.
When President-Elect Biden officially takes office in the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, he is undoubtedly indebted to the perseverance of his suburban voters and the endurance of Black women that took him to the top.