|‹ 2016 2024 ›|
|2020 United States Presidential Election|
|November 6, 2020|
|Nominee||Hillary Clinton||Sarah Palin||Joe Boehner|
|Home state||New York||Alaska||Ohio|
|Running mate||Rahm Emanuel||Scott Brown||Condoleeza Rice|
President before election
The 2020 US Presidential election was the 60th Quadrennial election in US history. Incumbent President Hillary Clinton won an unprecedented margin in both the popular and electoral votes, winning a second term over the challenges of Tea Party candidate Sarah Palin and Republican candidate Joe Boehner. The election marked the first time in recent history that an unsuccessful vice presidential nominee, won the vice presidential nomination of a different party in the next election, and was once again unsucessful (Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who ran as the Republican candidate for vice president in 2016 and the Tea Party vice presidential nominee in 2020), and the last time the Tea Party fielded a presidential candidate as a major political entity.
Table of Contents
- Hillary Clinton, 45th President of the United States
President Clinton announced early in 2019 that she would seek a second term, and was unopposed by any major candidate in the primary. In Vermont, write-in candidate Bernie Sanders won 52 votes, but he did not mount a formal campaign and did not appear on the ballot in any other states. At the convention, Clinton was re-nominated unanimously on the first ballot. Vice President Emanuel was likewise nominated to a second term.
- Sara Palin, former Governor of Alaska
- Mike Pence, former Governor of Indiana
- Saxby Chambliss, US Senator from Georgia
The 2020 Tea Party primary failed to see any serious candidates emerge on the scene. Despite party speculation that 2016 Presidential nominee Rand Paul might make a second run for the White House, Paul declined to run, as did Paul Ryan said he would seek for the Republican nomination, and most other members of the Tea Party caucus. As a result, only a handful of candidates participated in the primary. Of these, former Alaska Governor and reality show star Sarah Palin emerged as the front runner, edging our former Indiana Governor Mike Pence by thirteen votes to bag the nomination.
- Joe Boehner, Former Speaker of the House from Ohio
- Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin (dropped out 7/8/20)
- Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas (dropped out 3/2/20).
By 2020, the Republican Party was falling apart, with major defections to the Tea Party leaving it with only a few leaders. Low turnout in the primaries left most states without a clear winner, and in April Republican leadership voted to end the primary system and nominate a candidate at the convention. At the National Convention in Topeka, no candidate emerged with strong support. After briefly considering Chris Christie, Republicans nominated former House Speaker Joe Boehner. Boehner, who did not wish to run, accepted the nomination out of duty to his party.
The lack of clear rival to the Democratic nominee, resulting lackluster Republican support for Boehner and the fairly ludicrous conduction of the Palin campaign, gave Clinton a generous lead throughout the campaign. The Palin campaign, operating under a banner of returning to conservative principles, promoted a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, repealing all gun control legislation passed during the past 8 years (including a measure requiring the registration of high-power firearms), amending the Constitution to outlaw abortion, declaring war on Iran, Russia, and China, and requiring photo IDs as qualification for voting (a controversial measure many saw as an attempt to deny minorities the right to vote). President Clinton, by contrast, supported gay and abortion rights, education reform, a government option email server dubbed the USEPS (United States E-Postal Service) and increasing green energy production and American energy independence, which had been virtually accomplished during her first term. This stance, coupled with her push for a federal health care option as a competitor to private insurers similar to Medicare and a so-called Prevention of Prerequisite for Voting Act which would make requiring any identification in order to vote illegal under federal law, won her the support of the vast majority of Americans.
During the campaign, Boehner emerged as the third-wheel candidate, though he tried hard to cast himself as a moderate conservative alternative to the Palin-Brown ticket. In the last weeks of the election, Boehner ran a series of adds casting himself as the standard bearer of George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism", which were somewhat successful but ultimately did not win him the election.
On election day, exit polls showed Clinton well ahead in the popular and electoral vote, with Boehner trailing at 34%. As the results began coming in, however, Boehner's vote count plummeted, as Palin rose to take a distant second place to Clinton. By 11:00 PM EST, Clinton had been projected as the victor by every major newscast, winning a landslide victory over Palin and Boehner.
In the aftermath of the election, the Tea Party fell apart, as the public image of the party became more and more that of a ridiculous bunch of demagogues. By 2023, the party had collapsed completely, except as a minor party in the rural areas of some states, and the Republican Party had reformed as a more modern, middle-right party than had been seen in past years.