facebook-pixel

By the numbers: What sticks out from the 2020 election in Utah and the U.S

Election officials huddle around a table as absentee ballots are processed at the central counting board, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Yes, the vote counting process is still continuing, nearly 24 hours since polls closed on Tuesday.

But already, we’ve gotten some significant election results. Let’s break down some key numbers that represent the most interesting fraction of the election action — key results from local, regional, and national races.

3: The number of members in the Utah County Commission, which will stay unchanged in one of the most important local votes in Tuesday’s election. Voters turned down the option to restructure to a mayor and five-member county council setup, which proponents said would save 32% in costs and facilitate smoother political processes.

3.4 million: Joe Biden’s approximate popular vote lead as of Wednesday afternoon, or about 2.4% of the overall votes counted. Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead was about 2.9 million, or about 2.1%, in the 2016 election. That gap may prove decisive.

5: The number of Senate seats that are still in the air as of Wednesday. The Democrats need to gain three of the five to reach 50-50 parity and therefore a majority with a tie breaking vote from Kamala Harris, should she be the next vice president. But all but Michigan’s race are leaning Republican at this point, with Democrats needing an upset in Alaska, a comeback in North Carolina, or one of the two Georgia runoff elections in January go their way.

7%: How much the pre-election poll aggregate missed the real votes in Wisconsin. FiveThirtyEight′s composite analysis predicted a 53.7% to 45.4% Biden win, but Biden is the assumed winner there now by less than one percentage point. It’s hard to blame 538 for the polls they simply compile, though: an ABC/Washington Post poll last week had Biden up there by 17 points. It was a bad night for polls in many parts of the country, and nearly all of the pollsters underrepresented GOP support.

15: The number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana after Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana all voted in favor of it on Tuesday. There are now 36 states that support medicinal marijuana, after South Dakota and Mississippi’s residents voted in favor of it. Oregon, meanwhile, voted to decriminalize possession of even hard drugs, like heroin, cocaine, and meth.

19%: The number of Utah voters who voted against Utah’s Amendment C, which removed the possibility of slavery as a punishment for a crime. That’s over 200,000 Utahns who wanted to keep slavery in the state constitution.

28%: The increased percentage of Nevada residents who support same-sex marriage when compared to 2002. In 2002, a state constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage was passed 67% to 33%, but in the 2020 reversal, a new amendment supporting marriages between all genders was passed 61% to 39%.

33%: The current margin of victory for Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox over Democratic challenger Chris Peterson. On Wednesday, Cox retweeted a note from Utah Clean Air’s Thom Carter, who noted it was the largest gap for a Utah governor’s first election in the last 40 years.

52%: The percentage of voters in Puerto Rico who voted in favor of a referendum Tuesday supporting U.S. statehood. Their residents also elected Pedro Pierluisi as governor and he supports statehood as well. Congress would have to approve any change to Puerto Rico’s status, but Republicans indicated in their 2016 party platform that they would support whatever Puerto Rico wanted to do. Now that Puerto Rico statehood would likely mean two more Democratic senators, their position may shift.

61%: The percentage of Florida’s voters who supported a measure that would raise their state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. The progressive wage hike passed by a surprising margin, 61% to 39%. That wage increase slides up from 2020′s current $8.56 per hour to reach $15 per hour by 2026. Florida is now the eighth state in the union in the process of raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour.

94.7%: That’s the percentage of residents who identify as Hispanic in Texas' Zapata County, a border county that was one of Biden’s worst performing counties in the nation compared to 2016. While Hillary Clinton won the county by 33% in 2016, Biden lost the county by 5% in 2020. Biden’s weakness in heavily Hispanic areas doomed him in Texas and Florida.

$2,234: That’s the average monthly rent for a Washington D.C. apartment, which 1st District Rep-elec. Blake Moore might find handy. Moore, whose primary win surprised many observers, ran away with the heavily Republican district over Democrat Darren Parry.

100,000: The approximate number of votes left to count in Utah’s fourth congressional district in the race between incumbent Rep. Ben McAdams and challenger Burgess Owens. But of those remaining votes, only about 17,000 are from Republican-heavy Utah County, while Salt Lake County’s late-arriving ballots make up the rest. Currently, McAdams leads by just 2,600 votes, and should be considered the favorite in yet another very close race in the district.

Andy Larsen is a data columnist. He is also one of The Salt Lake Tribune’s Utah Jazz beat writers. You can reach him at alarsen@sltrib.com.

Comments:  (0)