In order to inform early analysis of the 2020 Presidential and US Senate results, especially in small cities and rural areas, we are making available a set of helpful maps and graphs, as well as the underlying county-level data. We are able to see that Biden's 2020 margins improved in small and medium metros and the surrounding rural areas compared to Clinton's 2016 margins in all five key Presidential states where RDI invested. And despite the fact that Trump also saw a surge of new rural votes in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, this increase in Democratic margins outside of the major urban centers was decisive. We look forward to hearing what insights you gain from browsing these resources.
Before diving in, please note the following important points
- There may be errors in the data. If you suspect one, significant (e.g. “Biden wins Idaho!”) or moderate (e.g. data for two counties reversed), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On most pages you can select individual, multiple, or all states. Rolling over a county map or bubble with your mouse will display a pop-up with more detailed information.
- Most of the graphics permit you to filter by type of county according to the Daily Yonder’s (DY) 7-level rural-urban categorization. Some also allow you to filter by the Rural-Urban Continuum (RUC) 9-level categorization. Both are defined below. While we generally prefer the DY system, neither is perfect so we’ve included both in most cases.
► 2016 to 2020 change in Presidential Democratic performance. This heat map shows, by county, the difference between the 2020 Biden-Trump % margin and the 2016 Clinton-Trump % margin. (Click here for an Alaska.)
► Two metrics for change in Presidential Democratic performance. This side-by-side heat map compares two different metrics for Biden’s performance versus Clinton’s. The right map is the same as that described immediately above. The left map shows the change between the % of votes captured by Biden and that captured by Clinton. Differences between the maps are due to the much lower Other/3rd Party vote in 2020. In many counties Biden got a higher % than Clinton even as the Trump-Biden gap exceeded the Trump-Clinton gap. (Click here for Alaska.)
► Presidential votes margins by county category. These side-by-side 'waterfall' graphs show, on the left, the Biden-Trump votes margin, and, on the right, how Biden over/under-performed Clinton in votes margin, cumulatively by county category.
► US Senate Democrat over/under-performance versus Biden. This side-by-side heat map shows, on the left, the 2020 Democrat-Republican % margin in US Senate races and, on the right, how that margin over/under-performed the Biden-Trump % margin. (Click here for Alaska.)
► US Senate Democrat over/under-performance versus Biden. This bubble graph shows, on the horizontal axis, the Biden-Trump % margin and, on the vertical axis, how the US Senate Democratic candidate over/under-performed that margin. Thus bubbles to the right/left are where Biden led/trailed Trump and bubbles on top/below are where the US Senate Democratic candidate over/under-performed Biden.
► 2016 to 2020 change in Democratic & Republican Presidential votes. This side-by-side heat map shows, on the left, the % increase in votes cast for Biden vs Clinton and, on the right, in votes cast for Trump in 2020 vs 2016. (Click here for Alaska.)