Ten Things We Now Know About the 2020 Election

As Usual, Much of the Conventional Wisdom Was Wrong

As more data continue to come in about the 2020 election, the picture of what really happened is starting to clarify. In many ways, this picture defies expectations about the election and/or postelection assessments that took root in its immediate aftermath. Here are ten things that seem reasonably clear based on data, both public and nonpublic, that I have encountered. (Note: all reference to margin shifts based on the two-party vote.)

1. Turnout for all racial groups went up in 2020, but appears to have gone up more for whites than for blacks or Latinos.

2. Biden received a significant margin shift in his favor among white voters, around the mid-single digits.

3. However, black voters shifted against Biden by around the same amount.

4. The decline in black Democratic support in 2020 was larger among black women than black men.

5. Latino support for Biden relative to Clinton plummeted dramatically by around 16-18 margin points.


6. Latino Democratic support declined most sharply in Florida and Texas. However there were also double digit margin declines in key Latino-heavy swing states like Arizona and Nevada.

7. The shift against Biden among Latinos was larger among Latina women than Latino men.

8. Both white college and white noncollege voters shifted toward Biden though the shift was larger among white college than white noncollege.

9. The pattern of both white college and white noncollege shifting toward Biden, with white college shifts significantly larger than white noncollege shifts, can be seen across swing states. This pattern held in the key Rustbelt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where Trump had banked on shifting white noncollege voters further in his direction.

10. Counterintuitively, white noncollege men shifted much more sharply toward Biden than white noncollege women. And white college men also had a larger shift toward Biden than white college women.

Make of it what you will! More and more specific data coming.