Democrats gained in nearly every battleground state, running up margins in cities

See how your county swung over the past three elections

Joe Biden flipped several battleground states en route to winning the presidency, thanks to a surge of support in heavily populated parts of the country. While President Trump did improve in some areas, it wasn’t enough to offset the former vice president’s gains.

We are tracking how winning margins have shifted throughout the U.S. Select a county below to see how it voted in the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Vote margin shift by county

Cobb County

Biden leads
>99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +12.5R +12.5D +2.1D +2.1D +14.3D +14.3

Georgia overall

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +7.8R +7.8R +5.1R +5.1D +0.3D +0.3

Note: Alaska's presidential election results are reported by state legislative district and are not included here.

While most 2020 ballots have been tallied, these margins are still preliminary and could change. But they show widespread gains for Democrats in key areas.

Now that the dust has settled, it appears that Florida will be the only battleground state where Trump made a significant improvement over his 2016 margin. 

Battleground states

Ranked from largest Biden swing to largest Trump swing

New Hampshire

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +5.6D +5.6D +0.4D +0.4D +7.4D +7.4

Georgia

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +7.8R +7.8R +5.1R +5.1D +0.3D +0.3

Arizona

Called for Biden
>99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +9.0R +9.0R +3.5R +3.5D +0.3D +0.3

Texas

Called for Trump
98% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +15.8R +15.8R +9.0R +9.0R +5.6R +5.6

Michigan

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +9.5D +9.5R +0.2R +0.2D +2.8D +2.8

North Carolina

Called for Trump
>99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +2.0R +2.0R +3.7R +3.7R +1.3R +1.3

Pennsylvania

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +5.4D +5.4R +0.7R +0.7D +1.2D +1.2

Wisconsin

Called for Biden
>99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +6.9D +6.9R +0.8R +0.8D +0.6D +0.6

Iowa

Called for Trump
97% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +5.8D +5.8R +9.4R +9.4R +8.2R +8.2

Ohio

Called for Trump
95% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +3.0D +3.0R +8.1R +8.1R +8.0R +8.0

Nevada

Called for Biden
99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +6.7D +6.7D +2.4D +2.4D +2.4D +2.4

Florida

Called for Trump
>99% of estimated vote counted  
← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +0.9D +0.9R +1.2R +1.2R +3.4R +3.4

In Ohio and Nevada his margin was nearly identical to four years ago, and in the other nine battlegrounds he lost ground. If Florida had been one of the last states to finish counting instead of one of the first, Election Night reactions may have been quite different.

More detailed patterns are starting to emerge from among the thousands of counties that have counted votes. 


Biden gained in and around big cities

Democratic-leaning suburbs

Results from 62 suburban counties Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +17.0D +17.0D +20.6D +20.6D +25.6D +25.6
Republican-leaning suburbs

Results from 246 suburban counties Donald Trump won in 2016.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +23.5R +23.5R +26.9R +26.9R +21.5R +21.5
Urban centers

Results from 42 counties in and around major city centers.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +22.0D +22.0D +27.9D +27.9D +28.6D +28.6
Rural counties

Results from 1,481 counties in rural areas and non-metro small towns.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +20.2R +20.2R +33.5R +33.5R +33.5R +33.5

The nation’s major cities, often objects of Trump’s scorn, turned away from him. Across the counties home to those cities and suburbs, Biden’s lead is already millions more than Hillary Clinton’s was four years ago, and is growing as final ballots are counted.

The large part of Biden’s big urban gain is coming from center-city areas, those dozens of counties at the core of metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million — places such as Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit, and Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, where Democratic margins grew by tens of thousands of votes and helped flip the states for Biden.

Beyond the center cities, Trump is still winning across the suburban counties he carried four years ago, but he has lost ground there despite significantly higher overall turnout. Meanwhile, in the suburbs that went for Clinton four years ago, Democrats have added twice as many voters there as Republicans in the turnout surge. The Clinton counties in these suburbs tend to have higher incomes, education and racial diversity, and this time their vote margins are almost large enough to offset margins in Republican counties. 

Although Trump has strengthened his already wide margins in rural counties by less than one percentage point, those gains often don’t make up for shifts in more-populated areas.

Coronavirus showed little impact

Hit hard by covid-19

Results from 217 counties with more than 50 Covid-19 cases per 1,000 population.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +9.4R +9.4R +11.7R +11.7R +17.4R +17.4
Most avoided covid-19

Results from 176 counties with fewer than 10 Covid-19 cases per 1,000 population.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020D +1.9D +1.9R +6.0R +6.0R +1.4R +1.4

The rising numbers of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and covid-19 deaths, as well as Trump’s management of the virus crisis, was a main theme of the Biden campaign. Counties that since the start of the pandemic have reported the most cases of the disease, on a population basis, are scattered mostly from Florida to Texas and up to the Dakotas and include many smaller counties. Trump won them overall four years ago by a large margin. Although virus concerns may have hurt Trump elsewhere, his margins here are wider.

Counties with the lowest coronavirus case rates are arrayed in a far different geographic pattern, concentrated around the upper Northeast, Colorado and Oregon. They also tend to have smaller populations, and Trump is winning again there, although by less.

Areas hit hard economically stuck with Trump

Gained jobs under Trump

Results from 194 counties with at least 10 percent job growth from 2016-2019.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +25.5R +25.5R +22.6R +22.6R +17.2R +17.2
Lost jobs under Trump

Results from 212 counties with at least five percent job decline from 2016-2019.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +17.5R +17.5R +33.9R +33.9R +35.9R +35.9

The rising numbers of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and covid-19 deaths, as well as Trump’s management of the virus crisis, was a main theme of the Biden campaign. Counties that since the start of the pandemic have reported the most cases of the disease, on a population basis, are scattered mostly from Florida to Texas and up to the Dakotas and include many smaller counties. Trump won them overall four years ago by a large margin. Although virus concerns may have hurt Trump elsewhere, his margins here are wider.

Counties with the lowest coronavirus case rates are arrayed in a far different geographic pattern, concentrated around the upper Northeast, Colorado and Oregon. They also tend to have smaller populations, and Trump is winning again there, although by less.

Some 2016 factors shifted

Lots of 2016 third-party votes

Results from 139 counties where third party vote share was greater than 10 percent in 2016.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +4.6R +4.6R +0.7R +0.7D +2.5D +2.5
Areas where Trump crushed Romney

Results from 175 counties where Trump beat Romney's 2012 margins by more than 25 percent.

← More Dem.TiedMore Rep. →201220162020R +5.0R +5.0R +29.3R +29.3R +30.4R +30.4

The rising numbers of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and covid-19 deaths, as well as Trump’s management of the virus crisis, was a main theme of the Biden campaign. Counties that since the start of the pandemic have reported the most cases of the disease, on a population basis, are scattered mostly from Florida to Texas and up to the Dakotas and include many smaller counties. Trump won them overall four years ago by a large margin. Although virus concerns may have hurt Trump elsewhere, his margins here are wider.

Counties with the lowest coronavirus case rates are arrayed in a far different geographic pattern, concentrated around the upper Northeast, Colorado and Oregon. They also tend to have smaller populations, and Trump is winning again there, although by less.

By Peter Andringa, Jason Bernert, Lenny Bronner, Madison Dong, Jess Eng, Simon Glenn-Gregg, Shana Hadi, Daniel Hoerauf, Jason Holt, Aditya Jain, Isabelle Lavandero, Emily Liu, Anthony Pesce, Erik Reyna, Ashlyn Still and Susan Tyler

Sources: Edison Research, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections