Democrat Joe Biden captured the U.S. presidency on Saturday after days of vote-counting in a closely divided country.
Biden won by expanding his party’s appeal among suburban voters, in middle- and upper-income communities and in places where a large share of people graduated from college. From the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt, he benefited from a surge in turnout in suburbs and other areas that skew well-to-do. The shifts were small but consequential in a nation appearing as politically divided as ever.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, deepened his support in lower-income communities and in places where people are overwhelmingly white and lack a college degree. He also made inroads with Black voters and with Latinos in Texas and Florida, whose votes helped him win both states. And he intensified his support in many of the counties where the coronavirus pandemic has been especially deadly.
The changes in suburbs and other well-to-do areas build on trends that have been realigning U.S. politics for years as upper-income, college-educated voters increasingly skew Democratic.
In 2020, the shift was just enough in a high-turnout election for Biden to flip a handful of battleground states - including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin - that had narrowly voted for Trump in 2016. Biden also won them by thin margins.
Note: “Share of expected votes counted” reflects recorded votes and the best estimate of the total number of votes cast according to Edison Research (Methodology); voting and demographic data for Alaska are presented at a state level. COVID-19 death rates by county are current as of Oct. 31
Sources: Edison Research for the National Election Pool; Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; Census Bureau; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Office of Management and Budget (OMB); Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Indeed.