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TMC Topic Guide: 2020 Election
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Monkey Cage Topic Guide:

2020 Election

Created: June 19, 2020
Last Updated: September 21, 2021

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Note: For additional coverage on the 2020 Elections, see articles on congressional diversity and election security in the Monkey Cage newsletters from June 24, 2020, June 21, 2020, and June 17, 2020. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

See also additional topic guides on The Biden Administration’s First Hundred Days, Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, Gender and Politics, and the Supreme Court.

January 2021 Crisis:

President-Elect Joe Biden (see also topic guide on The Biden Administration’s First Hundred Days)

Election Day 2020/Post Election:

U.S. Census

General Coverage



A brief analysis predicting a 2020 Democratic election win based on the Lewis-Beck and Rice forecasting model, presidential approval ratings, and the current pandemic.


Donald Trump

An analysis of how Trump’s 2016 election rallies mobilized Democratic donations, and the effect of negative partisanship in energizing Democrats.

An examination of polling data that indicates the public’s view on Trump’s handling of race relations.

An examination of how the state of the economy, Trump’s coronavirus response, and Democratic advantage in healthcare issues may affect the 2020 election.

An analysis of how election lawsuits are increasing as political parties recognize the importance of voting rights regulations in close elections.

An explanation of how Trump’s position is weaker than usual for an incumbent presiding over a good economy, determined based on presidential election patterns over the years.

An examination of polling data which indicates Americans will not rally for a military action against Iran.

An analysis of how racist rhetoric might motivate more Democrats to vote.

Joe Biden

An analysis of how younger black voters are not as enthusiastic about Biden as their elders.

An explanation of how having a woman of color as vice president can neutralize the negative campaigns attacking Biden on race.

An examination of how Biden’s moderate platform appeals to white consciousness.

An analysis of how older voters will help Biden in the primary, but younger voters are needed to win the presidency in the November general election.

Vice President/Kamala Harris

2020 Congressional Elections

An analysis of how the impact of coronavirus on local wages and perception of the economy can impact voters’ views on Republican candidates.

Election Security

Voting Rights/Laws

Voter and Party Trends 

Voting and Coronavirus

An analysis of the powers of states to regulate voting rights, and how this can be applied to the right to vote by mail.  

An analysis of how mail-in ballots are likelier to be rejected by states, especially for minority and first-time voters.

An examination of polling data reflecting citizens’ opinion on decisions to reopen Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.

An analysis of how the pandemic might exacerbate disparities between white voters and Hispanic and black voters.

An analysis of the logistical issues that come with mail-in ballots, and how it may affect the 2020 election.

2020 Presidential Primaries

        General Coverage

An examination of how factors like coordination between Democrats and Republicans, finding an alternative, and knowing what to expect will allow Iowa to keep its place.

An explanation of changes in caucus rules including publishing popular vote totals, satellite caucuses, and including minorities, among others.

An analysis of how intensity and emotion in speaking may represent greater political commitment to an issue.

An analysis of whether Clinton’s failure to visit Wisconsin in 2016 cost her the election, and how this factors into the decision to hold the 2020 convention in Wisconsin.

An examination of how name recognition is how match-up polls determine electability, and why this approach may be misleading.

        Bernie Sanders


Elizabeth Warren


Pete Buttigieg

        Michael Bloomberg