World Socialist Analysis of the 2020 Election
An analysis of the 2020 election published this morning (22-6-20) on the World Socialist website (wsws.org), based on exit polls and projected votes, shows that even though the majority of whites (57%) continued to support Trump, the pandemic and resulting economic crisis led “a substantial section of working-class whites” to vote for Biden. Because of higher overall voter turnout, the highest since 1900, “Biden won the votes of an estimated 8.6 million more men of all races than Clinton did in 2016, while Trump’s vote among men increased by roughly 2.2 million. Biden won 42% of white voters, an increase from the 37% won by Clinton in 2016. Overall, an estimated 6.4 million more white people voted for the Democrat in 2020 than in 2016, including roughly 5.4 million more votes from white men than Clinton won in 2016. Both Trump and Biden received increased votes from white people without college degrees: 3.1 million more than in 2016 for Trump and 5 million more than Clinton for Biden. Biden won the votes of ‘new’ voters in this category by a 60-40 margin. Trump’s share of the vote fell slightly from 2016 while the Democratic share increased from 29 to 35%.
The 2020 results show a shift against Trump in the working class (people with annual incomes of less than $100,000). There were roughly 23 million more votes overall from this group than in 2016, and Biden won more of them than Trump. Among workers with family incomes under $50,000, Trump won an estimated 2.1 million more votes than he did in 2016, but Biden won 4.9 million more than Clinton.” Trump received increased support from the wealthy (those with family incomes over $100,000). In 2016, Clinton and Trump tied here, with each winning roughly 21.8 million votes. In 2020, several million affluent people switched to Trump, probably because “his pandemic policy of ‘herd immunity’ has fed the rising stock market and further enriched them. As a share of the electorate, however, voters with family incomes over $100,000 declined by an estimated 3 million votes (from 34% to 28%), because substantial sections fell into the $50,000-$100,000 range, at least partially because of the pandemic. “Of these ‘new’ voters in the $50,000-$100,000 category (those who either were in the higher bracket in 2016 or didn’t vote for either of the two main parties in 2016) cast an estimated 14.1 million votes for Biden versus 5.2 million for Trump. While Trump won this category by a 49-46% margin in 2016, Biden won it in 2020 by a 56-43% margin.
Among African-American men, Trump increased his share of the vote from 13% in 2016 to 18% in 2020, accounting for an increase of roughly 500,000 overall votes. Democrats only increased black male turnout by some 600,000, meaning that Trump and the Democrats split ‘new’ African-American male votes almost 50-50. Among African-American women, Trump more than doubled both his vote total and his share of the vote. Trump won just 4% of African-American women in 2016, a total of about 383,000 votes. In 2020, Trump won 8%, or 868,000 votes. While exit polls don’t break down the African-American vote by income category, they do show the overall ‘nonwhite’ vote by education, the closest proxy for income available. Trump won an estimated 1.5 million more votes from this generally wealthier section of the population – a total of 5.4 million – than in 2016, going from 22% to 27%. The figures among Latino voters are similar to those for African-Americans and Asian-Americans.
Among LGBT voters, Trump tripled his total votes and doubled his percentage. In 2016, Trump won roughly 950,000 votes from LGBT people – 14% of the total to the Democrats’ 77%. In 2020, Trump won about 3 million votes in this category, or 28% of the total to the Democrats’ 61%.
Although there wasn’t an increase in turnout among young voters (aged 18-29), Trump lost 600,000 votes from this cohort compared with 2016, while the Democrats gained nearly two million.”
Go to the wsws.org website to see great graphics showing votes by gender (men favoring Trump in 2016 and close to tied between Biden and Trump in 2020, women significantly in favor of the Democratic candidate both times); by gender and race (white men and women favoring Trump both times, men by less in 2020 and women by a bit more; black men and women both increasing their votes for Trump in 2020, but also showing more overall votes, so that the percentages don’t change that much – 2% down in the blue column for men, 3% down for women); by income level (under $50,000 blue in both elections, 53% in 2016, 57% in 2020; between $50,000 and $100,000 narrowly favoring Trump in 2016, but 56% blue in 2020; and over $100,000 even in 2016 and favoring Trump by 54% in 2020); and by education (white college graduates slightly favoring Trump in 2016, even in 2020; white non-college grads favoring Trump both times, but less so by 6 percentage points in 2020; non-white college grads overwhelmingly favoring the Democrat both times, but less so by 5 percentage points in 2020; and non-white non-college grads also favoring the Democrat both times but by 6% less in 2020 out of a much larger voter turnout).
I still don’t understand why so many people continue to vote for Trump, especially women, people of color, and gay men. I think Christian fundamentalism and the pervasive racism in this country are responsible. The racism makes me unutterably sad, and the Christian fundamentalism makes me angry, because (a) Trump isn’t really a Christian, and (b) what the fundamentalists believe is pretty much the opposite of what I believe Jesus taught. Anyway…this gives you a breakdown of what happened.