159.8 Million Votes Cast in 2020 Election

We will point to 2020 for many reasons once we have a few years of history between us and it. Although COVID-19 will be the obvious talking point, several unfortunate events affected people around the world.

From the death of Kobe Bryant to the Australian bush fires that ravaged 47 million acres, everyone who makes it to 2021 will feel like a survivor.

Another significant milestone for 2020 was the U.S. Presidential election. The country tallied the most votes in history, with at least 159.8 million people going to the polls, mailing in their ballot, or using other legal methods.

Voter Turnout Was the Highest Since at Least 1900

About two-thirds of eligible voters made the time to cast a ballot for their preferred candidate in the 2020 election.

It turned out that Democrats held a significant early vote advantage, gaining 43% of the absentee or initial tallies going into Election Day. Republicans were only able to secure 37% of that figure.

Texas led the way in early voting, with approximately 9.6 million ballots cast before Election Day.

The most remarkable statistic from the 2020 election might belong to Pennsylvania. After the in-person votes were counted on Election Day, Donald Trump had more than a 600,000-vote lead over Biden. After the mail-in ballots got added to that figure, there was enough for the Democratic candidate to win the state.

Although COVID-19 topped the list of voter concerns for the election, jobs, the economy, immigration, and abortion were hot-button topics that drove people out in record numbers.

Biden won the election by flipping the upper Midwest states that Trump secured in 2016 on razor-thin margins while flipping Arizona and Georgia, which have been traditional Republican strongholds.

Only time will tell if these voting numbers are a one-off because of the emphasis on mail-in voting.

$14 Billion Spent on 2020 Election

If you thought the $7 billion spent during the 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was expensive, 2020 decided to provide a shock and awe campaign.

Total election spending for the 2020 contest was $14 billion, doubling the records that happened in 2016. That figure is up approximately $3 billion from the initial estimates.

A massive influx of donations came into both campaigns at the end of the political season because of closely watched Senate races, a GOP push to win back House seats, and the Supreme Court battle that would ensue to put Amy Coney Barrett on the bench before Election Day.

Joe Biden will make history at the end of this cycle, becoming the first candidate in U.S. history to raise $1 billion from donors. Trump’s $596 million, which would have been a massive haul in any other year, looked weak compared to the excitement that Democrats achieved.

This Result Was Unthinkable a Decade Ago

Before 2010, the idea of seeing a billionaire running for the highest office in the United States was almost unthinkable. During the 2020 election cycle, we saw Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg on the campaign trail.

Although Bloomberg ran into the Biden buzzsaw during the primary season, he vowed to keep his spending levels high to defeat Donald Trump.

Bloomberg personally contributed approximately $500 million to support Democrats up and down the ticket in multiple states.

Political donations weren’t coming from the elite and wealthy alone. Even with 2020 being a pandemic year, women were crushing donation records. Small checks getting written to candidates to eight-figure checks going to super PACs all made it a record spending year.

Another trend for Americans is to donate to candidates outside of their state to support their preferred party.

If this trend continues, the idea of spending $20 billion in the 2024 election cycle is not outside the realm of possibility. That figure is significant because it represents ten times the amount spent in 2000.