The 2020 U.S. Election Map

Analysis, forecasts, and themes for the 2020 Presidential election, Congressional campaigns, and state races

For Democrats and progressives, the rallying cry for the 2018 Midterm Elections was clear: flip the U.S. House of Representatives to break Republican control of Congress and put a check on President Trump.

Cool, mission accomplished.

GOP
198

U.S. House of Representatives

Seat Control - Last Updated: November 13, 2018
DEM
227
218

So where does that leave us for 2020? What should our Democratic priorities be now?

Going forward this research project will track important themes, trends, and goals as we begin our work toward 2020.

2020 Presidential Race and Electoral Map

There are a few pivotal questions here right off the bat - will Trump even seek re-election (or be able to by 2020)? Who will emerge as the Democratic front-runner (Bernie? Warren? Kamala Harris? could it still be Beto - or will he stay home and challenge Texas' other Republican Senator John Cornyn)? This will be the defining decision for Democratic voters, particularly for downballot energy and turnout (a contribution Beto himself made for candidates like Colin Allred, Gina Ortiz Jones, and Lina Hidalgo), and a spot where the wrong pick could really handicap the left overall in 2020.

There are also other important variables and dynamics. How much of a role will gerrymandering and voter suppression play now that Dem state legislative victories have halted its spread in key swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconisn? After all, even as the recounts proceed, redistricting and GOP-drawn maps look like a deciding factor in Republican's narrow wins in Georgia and Florida. Could Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to over 1 million Florida residents, end up swinging the state blue in tow years? What about election security? And now that the House is flipped, will Democrats and progressives revert back to 2016-level confidence and complacency? Or continue to actively recruit and organize? [aside: we def know what we're doing]

Each state in this 2020 Presidential Election map is shown alongside its electoral vote count. All forecasts are preliminary based on available 2016 - 2018 election and demographic data. Swipe left to get to the rest of the map if you're on your phone.

Overall, if the 2020 presidential is forecast with a Democrat populate vote edge of +7 points (Democrats received 46,232,290 votes [56.9%] vs. 33,652,472 Republican votes [41.4%] in the 2018 Midterm Senate races and won an estimated +7.5 in the House, so +7 would hypothetically re-normalize to a slightly narrower vote margin), then the 2020 presidential race will be close: 217 electoral votes are solid or lean Dem, 138 lean GOP, and 180 are competitive, toss-up races, including GA, MI, NC, PA, TX, WI - and of course, FL (it's always FL). And when it comes to how competitive, candidate selection will matter - a lot.

This raises a few important strategic questions for progressives:

1. Should Democrats and Democratic socialists focus on continuing their Midterm momentum in PA, MI, MN, and WI to restore or broaden political power in the north? Or pursue a southern strategy and try to flip frustratingly close states like FL, GA, and TX blue? Voters across the country (even in many parts of the Midwest) are clearly hungry for change and willing to embrase progressive ideals like "Medicare for All," labor rights, education, green energy and infrastructure investment, immigration and criminal justice reform, and marijuana legalization, as well as securing rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community and other identity groups. What Democrats and progressives can't do is ignore those ideals or get trapped somewhere in the middle, the way Clinton did in 2016.

2. Whatever regional strategies end up being pursued, how far left should Dems run? Candidate-market fit is critical, and although Beto, Abrams, and other progressives outperformed Clinton and were highly-competitive in their respective races, each one fell just short of building the voter coalition they needed for victory. What's the right balance of progressive policy and coalition-building that will allows Dems and progressives to go into rural districts and defeat Trump base-leaning opponents?

At the moment, Bernie and Beto seem to us like the closest to being able to strike the right balance nationally.

The 2020 Senate Election Map - Can the Dems Finally Flip Congress?

As expected, the 2018 Midterm results produced a split Congress, with Democrats running the House of Representatives and Republicans in charge of the Senate. Republicans (narrowly) expanded their Senate majority from the current 51-49 after Kyrsten Sinema's win in Arizona to an expected 53-47, though two GOP-expected races have yet to be officially called: Mississippi, where there is a runoff election, and Florida, where recount drama is in full swing.

GOP
51

Current U.S. Senate Seat Breakdown

Seat Control - Last Updated: November 13, 2018
DEM
47
51

Compared to 2018, where incumbent Democrats were largely on defense in the Senate, in 2020 Republicans will be fighting to defend 22 out of the 33 seats up for re-election. However, it's also a very Southern and Midwestern-oriented political map, both regions where progressives are still trying to figure out the candidate, messaging, and campaign strategy that will produce more consistent victories. Raising the minimum wage, affordable healthcare, weeding out corruption in Washington, and other progressive ideals are clear policy winners among voters, but better strategies are still needed to break through en masse to the Fox News demographic.

Hover over or tap a state to learn more about the Senator up for re-election. Swipe left to get to the rest of the map if you're on your phone. If your internet connection's slow sometimes the map can take a little while to load.

For the Democrats, the most flippable seats on paper are Senators Jon Kyl in Arizona, Susan Collins in Maine, Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Tom Tillis in North Carolina. After that, the map gets a lot harder. Will Beto come back and challenge John Cornyn in Texas? Kansas veered sharply blue in 2018 - is Pat Roberts vulnerable? Will Georgia be back in play? There will no doubt be surprises and strong, progressive candidates who emerge in other red states - will they be able to win the types of close races that generally eluded Democrats in the Midterms? We should also expect to see more progressive Democrats and Dem Socialists primarying centrist incumbents the same way Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez challenged (and defeated) Joe Crowley in NY-14.

The sobering reality is the 2020 Senate map as it stands only looks like a +3 or +4 Democratic seat pickup (can Doug Jones possibly hold on the way Manchin did?). And with the expected Republican Senate majority, that would us right at the razor's edge of a Senate flip. TL;DR: we've got work to do over the next two years.

So whenever you're ready to dig in and get after it, we'll be here. And if you haven't already signed up, text CHANGE to 774-541-1112 or join Brightest here to get the latest updates on our research and organizing work (we'll be adding more analysis and commentary to this project regularly). Thanks for reading, see you out there.




2020map.org is a free research and analysis project courtesy of Brightest. For feedback, suggestions, collaboration, or partnership inquiries, please contact us here. To support our grassroots political organizing, research, and data science work, we'd greatly appreciate if you helped us out here.