Biden-Trump Swings in 2020

By Jim Ellis

March 9, 2021 — The Daily Kos Elections website completed their analysis of the congressional districts that changed the most when comparing the 2020 presidential vote performance to that of 2016. The list is divided into the top 25 districts from two categories, those that swung the most to Joe Biden from Hillary Clinton and the seats where Donald Trump improved to the greatest degree when compared to his 2016 showing.

Perhaps the more interesting chart is the Trump improvement calculations, because every one of the top 25 D to R swing districts has a substantial minority population, particularly Hispanic. In fact, in these 25 CDs, the average Hispanic population figure is 59.8 percent, and we see a mean average improvement swing of 12.3 percent for Trump in 2020 with a median of 11.5 percent when compared with his 2016 standing in these districts.

FL-26 Trump   52-47 52-47 Gimenez 68.6
FL-25 Trump   61-38 Unopposed Diaz-Balart 75.8
TX-34 Biden   52-47 55-42 Vela 83.7
FL-27 Biden   51-48 51-49 Salazar 70.4
FL-24 Biden   75-24 76-20 Wilson 37.0
TX-28 Biden   52-47 58-39 Cuellar 77.4
NY-15 Biden   86-13 89-11 Torres, R. 66.1
TX-15 Biden   50-49 50-48 Gonzalez 81.2
CA-51 Biden   67-31 69-32 Vargas 70.1
CA-40 Biden   77-21 73-27 Roybal-Allard 87.6
TX-29 Biden   66-33 71-27 Garcia 77.1
NY-7 Biden   82-17 85-14 Velazquez 41.8
CA-44 Biden   78-19 68-32* Barragan 70.0
CA-29 Biden   74-24 57-43* Cardenas 68.7
NY-14 Biden   73-26 72-27 Ocasio-Cortez 49.1
NY-13 Biden   88-11 91-8 Espaillat 54.5
CA-19 Biden   70-28 72-28 Lofgren 40.8
FL-23 Biden   58-41 58-42 Wasserman-Schultz 35.5
CA-34 Biden   81-17 53-47* Gomez, J. 64.3
TX-9 Biden   76-23 75-22 Green, A. 38.5
NY-6 Biden   62-37 68-32 Meng 19.2
CA-35 Biden   65-33 69-31 Torres, N. 70.0
CA-46 Biden   64-33 69-31 Correa 66.4
NJ-8 Biden   73-26 74-25 Sires 54.4
PA-2 Biden   70-29 72-28 Boyle 27.9

* Faced another Democrat in general election
• Avg. Swing 12.3 | Median 11.5 | Average Hispanic percent: 59.8%

Biden Swing

Obviously, President Biden still won all but two of these districts, and the vast majority with overwhelming percentages. Even so, the fact that so many of the Hispanic districts were giving former President Trump a double-digit vote total increase is significant, nonetheless. This could be a positive 2020 presidential campaign after-effect upon which the Republican Party can build.

As you will see similarly in the districts below that swung significantly to Biden, only one of the Trump improvement seats performed differently at the House level when compared to that same electorate’s presidential vote. The one CD of the 25 swings that voted Biden for president and a Republican for House was Florida’s 27th District as Maria Elvira Salazar (R) upset incumbent Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Miami).

Of the districts that showed the most significant gain for Trump we look to South Texas. This contrasts greatly with the vote changes in North Texas. As we can see, ex-President Trump showed significant improvement in all of the Texas-Mexican border districts.

The district with the sharpest Trump swing was Florida’s 26th District, with a 21.9 percent factor. The lowest of the 25 were New Jersey’s 8th and Pennsylvania’s 2nd CDs, both with a 7.0 percentage improvement for the Republican former president.

The chart immediately below shows the top 25 districts that produced the sharpest swing for the race winner, President Biden. Remember, the 2016 Democratic number was that of Hillary Clinton.

TX-3 Trump 50-49 55-43 Taylor
GA-7 Biden 52-46 51-49 Bourdeaux
GA-6 Biden 55-44 55-45 McBath
TX-26 Trump 56-42 61-37 Burgess
TX-24 Biden 52-47 49-48 Van Duyne
CO-5 Trump 55-42 58-37 Lamborn
CO-7 Biden 60-37 59-38 Perlmutter
MO-2 Trump 49-49 52-46 Wagner
CO-6 Biden 58-39 57-40 Crow
TX-31 Trump 50-48 53-44 Carter
MN-3 Biden 59-39 56-44 Phillips
GA-11 Trump 57-42 60-40 Loudermilk
IN-5 Trump 50-48 50-46 Spartz
AL-6 Trump 67-32 Unopposed Palmer
VA-10 Biden 59-40 56-43 Wexton
KS-3 Biden 54-44 54-44 Davids
TX-6 Trump 51-48 53-44 Wright
VT-AL Biden 66-31 67-27 Welch
MA-6 Biden 63-36 65-35 Moulton
MD-2 Biden 66-32 68-32 Ruppersberger
MI-11 Biden 52-47 50-48 Stevens
MD-3 Biden 69-29 70-30 Sarbanes
MD-1 Trump 59-39 63-36 Harris
NJ-7 Biden 54-44 51-49 Malinowski
CO-2 Biden 64-34 61-35 Neguse

Avg. Swing: 10.1% | Median: 12.5

As you can see, though the district may have swung more toward Biden from the 2016 Clinton performance, that did not mean that the Democrat carried each district. Of the 25, Biden won 15 of them, even while making the most significant improvement when looking at the entire US House political picture.

Of the top 25 Democratic improvement states, only one of them split their votes between the presidential and US House campaigns. That was TX-24, where President Biden was successful in flipping the district vote, but Republican Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving) was still able to keep the seat in the GOP column.

The above calculations find that the average swing percentage among these 25 was 10.1, with a median average of 12.5 percent. The top swing district from R to D at the presidential level was TX-3, with movement of 13.1 percent. MD-1, NJ-7, and CO-2 placed at the bottom of the chart, each with a R to D swing factor of 8.8 percent.

Colorado proved to be the most improved Democratic state as four of its seven CDs are included on the above chart. Maryland, always a strong Democratic unit, still scored as the second-best improved Dem entity as three of its eight CDs were included in the top 25. Georgia was third with three of its 14 seats appearing, along with having two of the four Biden swing districts that flipped from Trump.

While Texas had five of its 36 seats on the most improved Democratic chart, all of the districts were from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. The rest of the state performed similarly or better for Trump when comparing his two presidential campaigns.

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