Decision 2020: Trump vs. Biden in Arizona

Sean Thompson ’20

Arizona Presidential Election Results 2016
Ali Zifan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The presidential battleground state of Arizona has been a highly contested swing state in this upcoming election. Republicans have been the state’s dominant party as residents align with more conservative ideologies; every Republican candidate since Dwight D. Eisenhower, except for Bob Dole, has won the state of Arizona. In 1996, Bill Clinton won Arizona over Dole. The state has had over 72 years of Republican voting. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump beat Hillary Clinton with 48.1 percent of the votes. In the current election, Biden is leading with 48.2 percentage points over Trump, who has 45.5 percent. Biden could be the first Democratic candidate to win this state since 1996. The change in this voting most likely has to do with the demographic of voters. It has been reported that more people have moved in and out of Arizona, either due to professions or other reasons. There is also a growth in the Hispanic population, which leans more democratic. There are more democratic residents moving to Arizona as well. Republican voters are also shifting more democratic as they are not pleased with Trump’s current administration. The result of this election will be tough for Arizona. Political scientists predict that the state could go blue, but it could go either way.

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Decision 2020: Chip Roy vs. Wendy Davis (TX-21)

Clayton Brosend ’24

Chip Roy, official portrait, 116th Congress
Chip Roy. United States Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Texas District 21 race for U.S. House is considered to be one of the biggest toss-ups heading into the 2020 election. This contest between Republican incumbent Chip Roy and Democratic challenger Wendy Davis will speak to the larger, more gradual political movements in the district. The longtime red district, having seen diminishing Republican victories since 2012, is widely described as a toss-up, with only one report defining it as Republican-leaning.[1]

Texas House District 21 lies north of San Antonio and covers a significant portion of Austin. The district has been represented by Republicans since 1979, but has seen a gradual change as voter demographics have shifted. In the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney carried the district by 22 points. This margin decreased in 2016 to only ten points. In the 2018 Senatorial election between Senator Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke, the candidates tied in District 21.[2]

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Decision 2020: Joe Cunningham vs. Nancy Mace (SC-01)

Adriana Quinonez Solano ’24

Joe Cunningham, Official Porrtait, 116th Congress
Joe Cunningham. U.S. House Office of Photography/House Creative Services, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The race of Democratic incumbent Joe Cunningham against Republican Nancy Mace, who has served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representative for District 99, has sparked concerns over the fate of the 117th Congress. South Carolina District 1 which covers the majority of the Atlantic coast from Charleston to Hilton Head Island, has become one of the most crucial toss-up districts in the presidential election. District 1 is made up by majority white veterans, retirees, and immigrants. District 1 has remained a predominantly Republican district for the past four decades until 2018 when the congressional seat was flipped by Joe Cunningham.

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Decision 2020: Trump vs. Biden in Wisconsin

Patrick Mahoney ’23

2016 Presidential Election Results by County. Ali Zifan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Donald Trump won the presidency over Hillary Clinton in November of 2016, many pollsters and political pundits were shocked at the outcome. Clinton had been favored in many national and battleground state polls, and yet she found herself conceding the election the next day. One key reason for this political phenomenon was that many states that had reliably voted blue in recent decades, specifically in the Midwest, swung towards Trump, enabling him to secure the 270 electoral votes needed for the presidency. Four years later, one of these states, Wisconsin, once again finds itself in the midst of a tight and all-important presidential election. As Joe Biden and Donald Trump enter the final week of the presidential election, Wisconsin has entered the national spotlight as a critical swing state.

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Decision 2020: Doug Jones vs. Tommy Tuberville (AL Senate)

Samantha Martin ’24

It was fun while it lasted. Alabama will likely vote out their first Democratic Senator elected in 25 years, Sen. Doug Jones, in favor of Republican Tommy Tuberville.

Doug Jones. Doug Jones for Senate, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Doug Jones’ initial victory, with 50 points to Roy Moore’s 48, was a major upset, and came as a shock to many. The Associated Press reported December 13, 2017, that Jones’ victory was the first Democratic Senate victory in the state of Alabama in a quarter century (13 December 2017, Associated Press). Jones’ victory narrowed the Senate’s Republican majority to 51-49 at the time, and was encouraging to members of the Democratic Party who planned to reclaim the House and Senate majorities in the following year’s midterm elections. Continue reading “Decision 2020: Doug Jones vs. Tommy Tuberville (AL Senate)”

Decision 2020: Cory Gardner vs. John Hickenlooper (CO Senate)

Alyssa Gruneberg ’24

John Hickenlooper. Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

In an election year unlike any other, the future of the country and the power of the next president could be decided by a few key Senate races. One of the most competitive races is between John Hickenlooper (D) and Cory Gardner (R) in Colorado. Gardner, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in the 2014 Republican midterm wave, is now one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP senators due to the state’s Democratic shift and his own strong alliance with President Donald Trump. Hickenlooper is a former two-term mayor of Denver from 2004 to 2010 and a two-term governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He was highly regarded by the public, but failed to gain traction in the Democratic presidential primary—he announced his Senate campaign soon after dropping out of the race. This race is critical because if Hickenlooper wins, it would be a huge step towards Democrats regaining control of the Senate for the first time since 2015. A Democratic majority Senate would help Biden achieve his policy goals or help thwart Trump’s second-term agenda.

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Decision 2020: Andrew Garbarino vs. Jackie Gordon (NY-02)

Vanessa Igras ’24

New York’s Second Congressional District is undergoing massive change this election cycle; from demographic changes to the impending departure of longtime incumbent, Peter King (R), this toss-up district is now looking for a candidate with the insight and sound reasoning to represent a new generation of Long Islanders.

Jackie Gordon. Via Ballotpedia.

This district is found along the south shore of Long Island, New York. It includes Suffolk County and a small portion of Nassau County. The make-up of this district strongly contributes to the unpredictable nature of this race. According to the New York Times, there were 360,000 registered Republicans in Nassau County in 1996, which was around 100,000 more than the Democrats had at the time. By 2019, the number of registered Democrats had grown to more than 400,000, while the number of Republicans had decreased by more than 30,000. There was a similar trend in Suffolk County; Republican registered voters increased by 18,000 people, while Democrats witnessed a more sizable increase of 160,000 new registered voters.

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Decision 2020: Thom Tillis vs. Cal Cunningham (NC Senate)

Alex Shultz ’21

Not only will North Carolina play a significant role as a swing state in the presidential election, it will also determine what the next Senate will look like. With the Republicans holding a slight 53-47 majority, both the Republican and Democratic parties are closely watching the Senate race unfold in this swing state. The incumbent, Senator Thom Tillis, is finishing up his first term in office, having been elected in 2015. His challenger, Cal Cunningham, is considered a strong pick for Democrats to run in a Republican leaning state to cut into the Republican Senate majority (Slodysko, Robertson).

Cal Cunningham. Graysonbarnette, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Cal Cunningham was seen as one of the best candidates the Democratic Party put forward this election cycle, especially in a swing state like North Carolina. Cunningham was a born and raised North Carolinian and decided to join the U.S. Army Reserve after the September 11th attacks. Cunningham has served three tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star during his time. Furthermore, Cunningham is running on issues including reforming education, immigration, and the criminal justice system.

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Decision 2020: Susan Collins vs. Sara Gideon (ME Senate)

Sarah MacDonald ’24

Susan Collins. Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

In Maine, Republican incumbent Senator Susan Collins’ bid for reelection is being challenged by Democrat Sara Gideon. Polls show a close race between Collins, who’s seeking her fifth term, and state House Speaker Gideon. This is one of the closest and highest-profile Senate races of 2020 and is part of a much wider national picture.

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Decision 2020: Martha McSally vs. Mark Kelly (AZ Senate)

John Reynolds ’24

In Arizona, the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate comes at a significant time. President Donald Trump has nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, which would most likely swing the court to the right. This could, in return, revoke Roe vs. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats believe they have one trick up their sleeve with a special election in Arizona, between the incumbent Martha McSally and Mark Kelly. If Kelly wins and takes office before the vote on Amy Barrett, he could cast a decisive vote at Amy Barrett’s confirmation hearing if three Republicans defect.

Martha McSally. Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Martha McSally was sworn into the U.S. Senate in January of 2019 and previously represented Arizona’s Second Congressional District for four years in the House of Representatives. McSally was a fighter pilot in the Air Force for 26 years before entering politics and retiring as a full colonel.

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