The parts of America that have seen strong job, population and economic growth in the past four years voted for Joe Biden, economic researchers found. In contrast, President Trump garnered his highest vote shares in counties that had some of the most sluggish job, population and economic growth during his term.
Trump fared well among voters who said the economy was their top concern, and he even won votes in places that didn’t fare particularly well under his presidency. This is perhaps a continuation of the 2016 election, when Trump won a huge share of places that had struggled under President Barack Obama. Democrats tended to view the 2020 election more as a referendum on Trump, especially his response to the pandemic.
These trends help explain why Biden was able to flip the counties that contain Phoenix, Fort Worth and Jacksonville, Fla., all of which are growing and prosperous urban hubs. And it helps explain why Trump did better than expected in Osceola County and Miami-Dade counties, the two Florida counties with some of the state’s highest unemployment rates.
“Counties where voters feel better off today than four years ago swung toward Biden,” said James Chung, co-founder of StratoDem Analytics, which studies local economic trends. “Counties that declined over the past four years were more likely to shift even more to Trump.”