Former President Donald Trump came closer to getting reelected than the polls before the vote had predicted by boosting the strength of his core coalition from 2016 and increasing his backing among several categories of voters, according to a detailed study of the 2020 election published by the Pew Research Center.
Trump managed to increase his share of the popular vote from 46% in 2016 to 47% last year. One of the ways he did this was by strengthening his core coalition, as evidenced by the fact that he was backed by 94% of Republicans, up from 92% in 2016; by 84% of white evangelical Protestants, an increase from 77%; and by 65% of rural voters, up from 59% from four years earlier.
Trump also significantly bolstered his support among white women, which increased from 47% in 2016 to 53% in the last election and helped him further narrow the gender gap among white voters.
Perhaps the most surprising result for pundits was Trump’s large rise in his backing by Hispanic voters. Although many observers insisted that the former president's tough policies at the southern border would make Hispanics oppose him in the election, his share of that vote actually jumped significantly from 28% to 38%.
Trump’s share of adults under the age of 30 also grew to 35% from 28% four years earlier.
However, despite this advancements by Trump, Biden ended up emerging victorious in the presidential election for several reasons.
Perhaps most significant was that Biden appealed to the center of the electorate across party lines, including boosting support among independents by 10 percentage points from Hillary Clinton’s performance in 2016. He also doubled her showing among moderate and liberal Republicans.
Biden also increased the share of moderate and conservative Democrats who voted for the Democratic nominee from 85% to 91%, while maintaining overwhelming support among Blacks, including increasing the support of Black males from 81% to 87%.
He also boosted the Democratic share of suburban voters from 45% to 54%.
Biden also regained much of the backing among men that Clinton had lost in 2016, winning 48% of the male vote compared with Clinton’s 41%.
The Pew study also pointed out that turnout surged to its highest level in a century, with the Democratic vote total going up by 15.4 million over 2016 and the Republican total by 11.2 million.
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