Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kenneth P. Miller

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This thesis provides an early analysis of the 2020 elections results. It examines how all nonwhite groups with the exception of American Indians provided gave Donald Trump a larger vote share in 2020 than in 2016, and how Joe Biden therefore won through an improved performance over Hillary Clinton with white voters. It highlights that 2020 saw a continuation of the growing geographic and educational polarization seen in the previous decade. It demonstrate how political polling appears to currently suffer from systemic response bias, and that the Republican Party is currently optimized to win elections while losing the popular vote. It illustrates how these trends all extended to down ballot races to Republicans’ advantage, and how the Georgia Senate runoffs provide an early glimpse of what voter coalitions the 2022 midterms may feature. Lastly it evaluates the impact that expanded mail voting, high turnout, and COVID-19 may all have had on the election results, finding no little to no effect caused by the former two, and that the disease outbreak may have proved decisive in President Trump’s reelection defeat.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.