How suburbs swung the 2020 election

CityLab Daily

The urban-suburban divide: Over past several presidential elections, a growing political divide between rural and urban communities emerged. In the 2020 election, it was the suburbs that became the inflection point, shifting from majority Republican to majority Democratic over the last four years — and ultimately giving President-elect Joe Biden his victory over Donald Trump. 

A Bloomberg CityLab analysis of voting patterns in nearly 3,000 counties revealed that overall, the margin in suburbia shifted 4.3 percentage points toward Biden, compared with Hillary Clinton in 2016. On a more granular level, the intensity of the red-to-blue shift varied among different types of communities, with Democrats gaining considerable ground not only in college towns but also in exurbs — which are farther from urban centers, have high levels of education and are home to a large chunk of the voting-age population. 

The change reflects an increasingly diverse suburban demographic, rather than the largely white middle-class version of the 1950s and 1960s that Trump was relying on. Today on CityLab, Richard Florida, Marie Patino and Rachael Dottle dive into the data to explain how suburbs swung this year's election.

-Linda Poon

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What we're reading

  • American suburbs are about to look more like European cities (Fast Company)
  • Private prison companies are pivoting for the Biden presidency (Slate)
  • Can Indian cities become "15 minute cities" post-Covid? (The Quint)
  • Climate crisis: How museums could inspire radical action (The Conversation)
  • London taxis stored in fields as passenger demand "evaporates" (BBC)

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