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Flipped Biden 24 Counties Trump Put Red In 2016

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Former Vice President Joe Biden won back 24 counties that flipped from President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump, including one in Pennsylvania that might have been a sign of Trump’s apparent 2020 loss.

The vast majority of Obama-Trump counties reiterated their support for the president on Election Day as Trump won about 88 percent of them in his re-election bid. However, two of the three Obama-Trump counties in Pennsylvania went for Biden, including Northampton County, a key indicator for the state.

Northampton, a northeastern county of about 300,000 people that was built on manufacturing, has voted for the winning presidential candidate in nearly every election since 1932.

In 2008 and 2012, Obama won Northampton by 12 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Then, in 2016, Trump took Northampton by about 3.8 percent. Biden’s and Trump’s campaigns, as well as Northampton County residents, told Newsweek ahead of the election that it was going to be a close race and that it could go either way, although everyone was confident their candidate would eke it out.

“It wasn’t surprising to me that [Democratic candidate Hillary] Clinton lost the county, but Biden winning wouldn’t surprise me at all,” Sam Chen, a Republican strategist, told Newsweek ahead of the election.

President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Biden was able to flip 24 Obama-Trump counties in the 2020 election.
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty

Expectations of a close race were met and Biden took the county by less than a point. Trump’s campaign is disputing the results of Pennsylvania’s vote tally, but if projections from the Associated Press hold, Biden will take the state by an even slimmer margin, cutting off any path Trump would have had to victory.

Biden also won Erie County by 1.1 percent. Luzerne, the third Obama-Trump county in Pennsylvania, went for Trump by more than 14 points.

By the time Pennsylvania was called for Biden, the Associated Press and other outlets already gave Biden victories in Michigan and Wisconsin, two states that were key to Trump’s 2016 win. With 34 Obama-Trump counties between them, Trump held onto most, but Biden was able to flip three.

Minnesota had the most pivot counties go for Biden, with four of the 18 flipping back to blue. The state coming out strongly for Biden isn’t entirely surprising because Trump lost Minnesota by 1.5 points in 2016 and by more than 7 points in 2020.

Biden also reclaimed the single Obama-Trump counties in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. The former vice president, as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, won all five states in their elections.

Many of the Obama-Trump counties that Biden was able to flip back to blue went for Trump by a small margin in 2016. However, in Essex County, Vermont, Biden took a county that came out strongly for Trump in 2016. The president won by more than 16 points in 2016, then lost to Biden by 49 points.

As of Tuesday morning, Trump won 23 states in the 2020 election, according to the Associated Press, with 14 being home to at least one Obama-Trump county. Of those 14, Trump held onto every Obama-Trump county in 10 states—Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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