Swinging the Balance

A look at how battleground states were changed or conserved in the Election of 2020

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   While millions of Americans watched their ballots being counted in every county across the country, the future of the United States of America hung in the balance of crucial battleground states that slowly revealed surprising differences and resemblances in numbers as compared to the 2016 Election.

   Four years ago, Donald Trump won the majority of toss-up swing states by narrow margins, earning him the Presidency over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. This year, however, voter preferences characterized by shifts and continuities in economic and social factors swung several states in both expected and unexpected ways.

   In the southwest, the battle for the state of Arizona yielded considerably different results this year than from those in 2016. Four years ago, President Donald Trump won Arizona by 3.5 points. This year, now President-elect Joe Biden secured the state by a mere 0.3 points. This tight margin marked a key aspect in Arizona’s history: 2020 was the first time in twenty-four years that the majority of Arizona had voted Democrat.

   In midwestern battleground states such as Ohio and Michigan, various important results determined the winner of the election.

   Ohio, one of the most consequential toss-up states in presidential election history, remained Republican this year by about the same margin as in 2016. Donald Trump’s 8.2 point lead in Ohio mirrors the faces of every fracking industry employee, who viewed Trump’s position on obtaining oil and gases from the earth as promising for their futures.

   Additionally, Donald Trump obtained a slight edge in Michigan in 2016, barely winning the state by 0.3 points. This year, though, Joe Biden won Michigan by a margin of around three points, flipping the industrious state in the Democrats’ favor.

   In Pennsylvania, perhaps the most important swing state of past election years, Trump won the twenty electoral votes in 2016 by less than one point. This year, he lost his lead in the state to Biden, who currently leads by a small 0.7 point margin.

   On the east coast, the citizens of New Hampshire noticed a significant change in their state’s numbers. In the 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton won the state by 0.3 points. In 2020, the citizens of New Hampshire became more vocal and more polarized, contributing to Biden’s current lead of nearly eight points in the state.

   Finally, the southern state of Georgia experienced a unique shift this year that still leaves Americans questioning the contributing factors to such a change. Donald Trump solidly held Georgia in 2016 by 5.1 points; this year, however, the battle for Georgia appeared to be one of the closest races. As of November 10th, Georgia was still too close to call, with Biden shading the state a light blue by a mere 12,000 votes.

   Whether battleground states are shaded red or blue, or have a distinguished, uncontested vote, America will always view them with anticipation. These states remain as the key focuses of politicians in every election year and have helped to shape the most consequential election in American history.

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