2020 What Happened?

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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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    What Happened?: In 2020, Iowa moved from swing state to safe state.

What Happened?: In 2020, Iowa moved from swing state to safe state.

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For many years Iowa has been considered a swing state and a bellwether state, indicating the political direction of the country as a whole. The 2020 general election, however, saw Republican successes across US House and State Legislative races. Andrew Green writes that the GOP has flipped the state from ‘swing’ to ‘safe’ by making gains among rural Iowans […]

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    What Happened?: ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg has embraced the idea that infrastructure policy can bring about social change.

What Happened?: ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg has embraced the idea that infrastructure policy can bring about social change.

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The position of Secretary of Transportation typically has a much lower profile compared to other US Cabinet positions. But it still has power and influence and is now at the centre of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Emanuele Monaco writes that the new Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, will use the office to help Joe Biden fix […]

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    “What Happened?’: Taking stock following a historic year for American politics and society

“What Happened?’: Taking stock following a historic year for American politics and society

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The last year has been like no other in US politics, with the perfect storm of a global pandemic and a concurrent botched federal response, and a president who engaged in continual misinformation and incited violence. Our ‘What Happened?’ mini-series, has documented the key events since the 2020 general election, whilst also mapping important electoral trends. As the Biden […]

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    What Happened?: Florida has already sounded a 2024 warning for Joe Biden

What Happened?: Florida has already sounded a 2024 warning for Joe Biden

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Once thought of as a battleground state, Florida now leans Republican in presidential elections. Kevin Fahey takes a close look at county-by-county results and trends in the 2020 election in the Sunshine State and finds that given the Republican Party’s growing appeal in rural areas, there is no further deep well of Democratic voters for Joe Biden to turnout. […]

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    What Happened?: Biden’s Minnesota win masked the ongoing political realignment in the North Star State

What Happened?: Biden’s Minnesota win masked the ongoing political realignment in the North Star State

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In 2020, Joe Biden won by a larger margin than Hilary Clinton did in the North Star State four years earlier. This victory, Rubrick Biegon argues, masks a larger political realignment between the state’s urban and rural communities that will keep Minnesota a particular shade of purple for the foreseeable future. 

Following the 2020 US General Election, our mini-series, ‘What […]

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