Biden’s win was more decisive than you think

How the electoral map changed between 2016 and 2020 — and what it means for the country

Joe Biden has won the electoral votes to dislodge Donald Trump from the White House, according to CNN projections, and will become the 46th President of the United States.

On the cusp of history. Trump’s defeat is a clear victory for Democrats even if it is not the blue tidal wave that had become a pre-election expectation of some. They did it with a unique coalition of liberal democratic socialists, disaffected moderate Republicans, and everyone in between — and they expanded the electoral map, proving that a younger and more diverse electorate has new priorities. They have elected a woman — a woman of color, no less — on a nationwide ticket for the first time ever, and Democrats may yet gain a slim majority in the US Senate.

Turnout for this election set records. More than 74 million people cast votes for Biden and more than 70 million cast votes for Trump. Those numbers will continue to creep up, but it appears that well more than 65% of Americans participated in the election process, according to one estimate. It could be the highest turnout since 1900 — before women could vote.

There’s good news for the idea of democracy. The candidate who got more votes is on pace to win this election, which didn’t happen in 2016. In fact, Biden will exceed 50% of the vote. Clearly, the country remains bitterly divided, but it’s hard to argue Biden doesn’t have some kind of political mandate with more than half the vote.

There’s bad news for Democrats, too. A large portion of the country continued to support Trump despite his impeachment, his personal divisiveness, his courting of racists, and more. The country is divided to a degree many people didn’t realize. And while Republicans may not have the White House, they seriously ate into Democrats House majority and may yet hold the Senate.