Former Vice President Joe Biden reclaimed 24 counties that had passed from President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump, including one in Pennsylvania, which may have been a sign of Trump’s apparent loss in 2020.
The vast majority of Obama Trump counties reaffirmed their support for the president on election day, with Trump winning about 88 percent of them in his reelection. However, two of the three Obama Trump counties in Pennsylvania chose Biden, including Northampton County, an important indicator for the state.
Northampton, a northeastern county with a population of about 300,000 and built on the basis of industrial plants, has voted for the victorious presidential candidate in almost every election since 1932.
In 2008 and 2012 Obama Northampton won with 12 percent and 4.7 percent respectively. In 2016 Trump Northampton won by about 3.8 percent. Biden and Trump’s campaigns and the residents of Northampton County told Washington Newsday before the election that it would be a close race and that it could go either way, although everyone was confident that their candidate would prevail.
“It didn’t surprise me that [Democratic candidate Hillary] Clinton lost the district, but a Biden victory wouldn’t surprise me at all,” said Sam Chen, a Republican strategist, ahead of the Washington Newsday election.
The expectations of a close race were met, and Biden won the district by less than a point. Trump’s campaign denies the results of the Pennsylvania vote count, but if the Associated Press’ predictions are correct, Biden will take the state by an even smaller margin and block Trump’s path to victory.
Biden also won Erie County with 1.1 percent. Lucerne, the third Obama Trump County in Pennsylvania, took Trump by more than 14 points.
By the time Pennsylvania was called for Biden, the Associated Press and other channels had already given Biden victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that were crucial to Trump’s 2016 victory. With 34 Obama Trump counties between them, Trump held on to most, but Biden managed to score three flip-flops.
Minnesota had the most counties that chose Biden, with four of the 18 falling back to blue. The fact that Biden county scored a strong result is not entirely surprising, as Trump lost Minnesota by 1.5 points in 2016 and by more than 7 points in 2020.
Biden also recaptured the individual Obama Trump counties in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. The former vice president and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won all five states in their elections.
Many of the Obama Trump counties, which Biden was able to bring back to blue, voted for Trump in 2016 by a narrow margin. However, in Essex County, Vermont, Biden took a county that strongly opted for Trump in 2016. The president won by more than 16 points in 2016 and then lost to Biden by 49 points.
On Tuesday morning Trump won 23 states in the 2020 election according to the Associated Press, 14 of which host at least one Obama Trump County. Of these 14, Trump has occupied every Obama Trump district in 10 states – Archansa, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.