Thursday, December 17, 2020

Trump won by a landslide in most rural counties; see data

Landslide counties in 2020 presidential election are shown in dark colors.
Daily Yonder map; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

Much has been made of President-elect Joe Biden's narrow wins in battleground states, but in most places, the presidential race wasn't competitive at all; most people live in "landslide counties," where one of the candidates won by at least 20 percentage points. It reflects the rural-urban political divide.

"Nationally, 77% of all counties this year were won in a landslide. Four years ago, 79% of counties were won by 20 points or more," Bill Bishop reports for The Daily Yonder. "Nearly eight in 10 rural voters (77.3%) live in a landslide county, about the same as four years ago."

Though the 2020 race had a slightly lower percentage of landslide counties than in 2016, "The percentage of people living in a landslide county has been increasing since the mid-1970s," Bishop reports. The phenomenon was a major basis for his book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart.

In 2020, Texas boasted the most Republican urban and rural counties. In Armstrong County, an Amarillo suburb, 93.2% of voters went for Trump. "The most Republican rural county was Roberts County in the Texas Panhandle, where 96.9% of the vote went for President Trump," Bishop reports. "Only 17 people there voted for the Democrat,."

Biden's top rural strongholds were Jefferson and Claiborne counties in the Delta region of Mississippi. Each gave 86.2% of votes to Biden, Bishop reports. On the map above, they're the southernmost dark-blue Mississippi counties on the river, except the one in the state's southwest corner; that's Wilkinson County, which Biden won by more than 2 to 1.

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