2020 What Happened?

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    What Happened?: In New Jersey’s election, Democrats maintained control of the state, but redistricting could cause headaches for them in Congress

What Happened?: In New Jersey’s election, Democrats maintained control of the state, but redistricting could cause headaches for them in Congress

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Last month New Jersey governor Phil Murphy won a second term, the first Democrat to do so in the Garden State for 44 years. Julia Sass Rubin takes a close look at the results of the off-year election, which saw a Republican red wave in some parts of the state and Democratic gains in others. The state’s uneven electoral […]

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    What Happened?: COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the future of US elections

What Happened?: COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the future of US elections

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Despite the doubt and difficulty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the November 2020 general election occurred successfully. More Americans voted in this election cycle than in any other in the country’s history and turnout reached its highest rate in more than 100 years. Crisis averted? Perhaps not. Madison Imiola, Peter Finn, and Rob Ledger explore the ongoing influence of […]

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    What Happened?: In Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election, increasing turnout for Republicans showed that campaigns still matter, and politics are still local

What Happened?: In Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election, increasing turnout for Republicans showed that campaigns still matter, and politics are still local

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Widely believed to be a Democratic-leaning state by many political pundits, this week’s Virginia gubernatorial contest saw electoral victory for Republican Glenn Youngkin. Lauren C. Bell writes that the contest and results show that local politics are still important, with Youngkin running a campaign focused on Virginia issues as his Democratic rival, Terry McAuliffe, tried to overcome lackluster enthusiasm […]

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    What Happened?: Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that he lost, rather than was defeated in, the 2020 election

What Happened?: Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that he lost, rather than was defeated in, the 2020 election

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The 2020 election year presented the Trump administration with a COVID-19 pandemic that it was ill-equipped to deal with, and ultimately intersected with the politics surrounding November’s presidential election. Peter Finn, Madison Imiola, and Rob Ledger argue the pandemic left Trump seemingly in denial about both the impact of the coronavirus crisis and the election’s outcome, with the former […]

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    What Happened?: The 2020 election can’t be understood without considering the role of the COVID-19 pandemic

What Happened?: The 2020 election can’t be understood without considering the role of the COVID-19 pandemic

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The 2020 US electoral cycle was truly historic. Along with two presidential candidates at odds with each other over policy, campaign decorum, and their visions for the future, it occurred in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peter Finn, Madison Imiola, and Rob Ledger argue that if these two events are viewed as linked, rather than separate events happening […]

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    What Happened? In its recent recall election, Republicans underestimated how much California has turned into a one-party state

What Happened? In its recent recall election, Republicans underestimated how much California has turned into a one-party state

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Last month, residents of the Golden State decided that Gavin Newsom would continue as California’s Democratic Governor following a recall attempt led by state Republicans. Jeff Cummins writes that Republicans ultimately misjudged the election; Californians were not frustrated enough with the state’s COVID-19 response to remove Newsom. 

Following the 2020 US General Election, our mini-series, ‘What Happened?’, explores aspects of […]

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    What Happened?: The 2020 election confirmed that Ohio is no longer a swing state.

What Happened?: The 2020 election confirmed that Ohio is no longer a swing state.

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Once seen as the archetypal swing state, Ohio has voted for the Republican candidate in the last two presidential elections. Kevin Fahey takes a deep dive into the changing electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party in The Buckeye State, writing that while the party tends to perform well in urban areas in many other Midwestern states, this is not […]

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    What Happened?: Pennsylvania returned to the Democrats in 2020, but it may not stay that way.

What Happened?: Pennsylvania returned to the Democrats in 2020, but it may not stay that way.

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As it was key to Trump’s presidential election victory in 2016, winning Pennsylvania in 2020 helped secure the White House for Joe Biden in 2020. Ben Kantack writes that there are reasons for optimism for both Republicans and Democrats facing elections in the Keystone State in 2022 and 2024. On one hand, Biden may have re-established the Democrats’ “Blue […]

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    What Happened?: Partisan audits and voter suppression laws are Arizona Republicans’ latest tactics to retain power.

What Happened?: Partisan audits and voter suppression laws are Arizona Republicans’ latest tactics to retain power.

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Even after the conclusion of the 2020 election, Arizona remains a battleground state. As part of that the fight for the Grand Canyon State, Republican-sponsored legislation and partisan ballot recounts are being tested out in Arizona, which has become a bellwether for actions in other purple states across the nation. Eldrid Herrington highlights yet another recount of 2020 ballots […]

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    What Happened?: Georgia’s surprise Senate victories have shaped the early Biden presidency, but an uphill battle remains for the Democrats’ agenda.

What Happened?: Georgia’s surprise Senate victories have shaped the early Biden presidency, but an uphill battle remains for the Democrats’ agenda.

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Last January, against the expectations of many, the Democratic Party won two US Senate run-off elections in Georgia, giving them effective control of the Senate. Lauren C. Bell writes that while Democratic control of the Senate has allowed President Joe Biden to advance some aspects of his agenda, such as COVID-19 relief, procedural limitations mean that more ambitious legislation […]

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