Table of Contents
2024 Democratic primaries
When Joe Biden defeated President Trump in 2020, few Americans expected him to run for a second term, as he would be 82 years old. Thus, it surprised almost no one when Biden announced in the middle of 2023 that he would be retiring. Immediately, Vice President Kamala Harris became the presumptive front-runner. Few Democrats were willing to challenge her as 2024 drew closer. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched her own presidential bid, but she wasn't able to get any real traction with voters and dropped out after a few months. A few other token opposition candidates ran, but none were successful. There was a major change in the primaries, however. Recognizing that Iowa had become a Republican stronghold, DNC chairman Jaime Harrison bowed to public pressure, and the famous Iowa caucuses became the Michigan caucuses, as Michigan was a swing state that better represented the diverse coalition of voters Democrats were trying to appeal to. After Super Tuesday, Kamala Harris was the presumptive nominee.
Harris decided that she should balance her ticket with a male running mate. After much consideration, she picked Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear because he had proven that he could appeal to voters in a deep red state. Beshear already was on the short list after winning reelection by more than 10 points in 2023. After Beshear was selected, Kentucky Democrats started a grassroots effort to revive the Democratic party in their state. Other red states saw similar movements from their respective Democratic party leadership.
2024 Republican primaries
Almost immediately after Joe Biden took office, Republicans made it clear that they still viewed Trump as their president and that few of them believed that the 2020 election results were legitimate. Many congressional Republicans based their votes on Biden's cabinet picks on Trump's opinion of him/her. Republicans also would abruptly change their stances on pieces of legislation if Trump were to tweet that he didn't support it. Although President Biden repeatedly called for unity and cooperation, the gridlock in Washington only intensified. Nevertheless, the economy improved during Biden's presidency after coronavirus vaccines became widely accessible in early 2021. Biden was also able to sign some law enforcement reforms and race relations improved during his presidency, at least compared to how they were during Trump's tenure.
Minutes after Biden was inaugurated, Trump tweeted that he was running for president again in 2024. This made him the immediate frontrunner, as his approval rating among Republicans was still very high. However, Biden did not pardon Trump, instead allowing his Department of Justice to have free reign in investigating Trump's criminal activity. The investigations from the state of New York also ramped up, and Trump was in hot water almost immediately after his presidency ended. Republicans, nonetheless, were unfazed by all of this. Shortly before dying, Rush Limbaugh proclaimed that the investigations into Trump were all "witch hunts" and that "every patriotic American should donate to Trump's cause." The statement went viral, and soon after, many Republicans were pouring huge amounts of money into Trump's defense fund. In 2022, the New York state government indicted Trump and his family on tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. Trump and his lawyers insisted that he was innocent, but new allegations were popping up every day, and the court battles dragged on well past election day in 2024.
After a successful 2022 midterm election, Republicans immediately turned their focus to the 2024 election. With Trump firmly in the driver's seat despite all his legal troubles, Republican opposition was almost nonexistent. They didn't even hold any debates. The only serious challenger against Trump was former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who tried to campaign on a return to moderation, but he was quickly drowned out by the pro Trump rallies.
Mike Pence, in a private interview, said that he didn't wouldn't want to be Trump's Vice President again. After hearing this news, Trump lambasted Pence via tweets, and chose former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be his running mate. Thus, the 2024 election became the first presidential election where there were females on both party's tickets.
Kamala Harris ran on a platform of continuing the progress that had been made under Biden's presidency. In an attempt to appease moderate voters, she emphasized that she was opposed to Medicare for All, supported law enforcement, supported border security, and had a moderate foreign policy as well. Trump's main message as that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him, and that he would get rid of all the environmental regulations that Biden put in place as well as "resuming" construction on the border wall.
The attacks from both candidates were vicious, and President Biden pleaded for civility, but no one listened to him. Both candidates focused on the upper midwestern states- namely, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. They also both campaigned heavily in Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina. Harris realized that Florida was very unlikely to vote Democratic, and instead focused on flipping Texas, as doing so would be a knife in the heart of the Republican party. Then, a month before the election, the "October surprise" came- Biden's DOJ announced that they were indicting Trump on numerous corruption and treason charges. Although Trump's base was riled up even more after this, many undecided voters were turned off. RVAT (Republican Voters Against Trump) began posting videos of people who admitted they voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, but were going to vote for Harris.
Before the election, the polls and pundits predicted that Harris would win very substantially. However, people knew how badly the polls screwed up in 2016 and 2020, and thus refused to believe it.
Harris won the election, winning over 340 electoral votes. She narrowly flipped North Carolina and Texas, and expanded on Biden's margins in Arizona and Georgia. Trump managed to win Wisconsin, but this wasn't nearly enough.
Breakdown of all 50 states
Alabama: Trump won here by over 25 points, and nothing less was expected. He didn't however, win any new counties in the state.
Alaska: Alaska received some attention from the Harris campaign, as Trump won it by only 10 points in 2020 after winning it by 16 points in 2016. Harris ultimately decided not to pay much attention to the state, but she only lost it by 4.7 points, pushing the state closer to purple territory.
Arizona: Both candidates campaigned heavily here, but polling showed Harris with a healthy lead. Ultimately, Harris won the state by 4.8 points, while Senator Kyrsten Sinema won reelection by almost 10 points. Both of their wins can be attributed to even more Republicans breaking with their party and voting Democratic.
Arkansas: Trump won Arkansas by nearly 30 points, consistent with what the polls said.
California: Kamala Harris won her home state by over 35 points.
Colorado: Once reliably red, Colorado became a Democratic-leaning swing state during the Obama years. After Biden won it by over 10 points in 2020, however, it became clear that Colorado had become a Democratic stronghold. Harris won by nearly 15%.
Connecticut: Like almost every other northeastern state, Harris won by over 20%.
Delaware: President Biden's home state supplied Harris with a margin of victory of close to 20%, roughly the same margin they gave Biden 4 years earlier.
District of Columbia: As always, close to 90% of the voters voted Democratic.
Florida: Harris spent significantly less time and money here than any presidential candidate in recent years. She wisely knew that Florida would be Trump country, even with her best efforts. She turned out to be correct, as Trump vastly outperformed the polls, winning the state by 7.8 points. Trump won over 60% of the state's Latino voters, and became the first Republican to win Miami-Dade county since George H.W. Bush did so in 1988.
Georgia: After Biden's incredibly narrow win in 2020, Stacy Abrams never took her foot of the gas pedal of her get-out-the-vote drive, which was largely responsible for Biden's win in 2020. With Atlanta metro area and surrounding suburbs burgeoning, Harris was able to win Georgia by 4.6 points.
Hawaii: Harris won by about 30 points, and the state continued its decades-long streak of all of its counties voting Democratic.
Idaho: Harris won Ada County (Boise), becoming the first Democrat to do so since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. Trump, however, still won the state by about 30 points.
Illinois: Running up huge margins in Chicago, Harris won Illinois by about 20 points.
Indiana: Reliably red aside from Barack Obama's fluky win there in 2008, Trump won here by nearly 20 points.
Iowa: Donald Trump flipped 31 Iowa counties in 2016, and Joe Biden couldn't win back a single one in 2020. Kamala Harris didn't visit the state even once, instead focusing all her attention on the Great Lakes states. Although polling suggested a close race, nobody was surprised when the polls botched Iowa even worse than they did in 2020, as Trump won the state by 12.8 points.
Kansas: Although it wasn't seen as a battleground, many people took note of Kansas's significant shift leftward in 2020, especially in heavily populated Johnson County. Despite not investing any funds into the state, Kamala Harris lost Kansas by only 9.8 points after Biden lost it by 15 points 4 years earlier.
Kentucky: No one expected Andy Beshear's presence on the ticket to have any serious effect on this otherwise deep red state. However, the get-out-the-vote drive that was targeted at youth voters helped push the state about 5 points leftwards; Trump won by about 20 points.
Louisiana: Former Governor John Bel Edwards was on the shortlist of potential VP picks for Harris, but even if she chose him, it likely wouldn't have had much effect on how the state voted. Trump won Louisiana by about 20 points.
Maine: As expected the state as a whole voted for Harris by about 10 points. However, because Maine allocates their remaining electoral votes by district, Trump was able to win the electoral vote from Maine's rural second district by about 7 points. Harris won the urban first district by over 20 points.
Maryland: As the polls predicted, Harris won Maryland by over 35 points.
Massachusetts: As always, Massachusetts voted Democratic in a landslide. Harris won by over 30 points, and swept every county in the state, which every Democrat since 1992 had done.
Michigan: Moving the first caucuses from Iowa to Michigan breathed new life into the weakening Democratic influence in the state. Both Harris and Trump spent enormous amounts of time and money here. As expected, Michigan was a close race, but Harris ultimately won the state by 2.1 points.
Minnesota: Although part of the upper midwest, Minnesota wasn't seen as being competitive quite yet. Although Trump invested a lot of funds in the state, Harris still won by 6.1 points, and Senator Amy Klobuchar was reelected by over 25 points.
Mississippi: Trump won this state by close to 20 points, which was on par with the polls and the state's voting history.
Missouri: Once a major swing state, Missouri had long since stopped being competitive for Democrats. Trump won by about 15 points.
Montana: Although the presidential race wasn't seen as being close (Trump won by about 15 points), the Senate race was seen as being extremely competitive. Ultimately, incumbent Democratic Senator Jon Tester was reelected by less than 1 point.
Nebraska: Trump won the state overall by about 30 points, but, like Maine, Nebraska allocates their remaining electoral votes by district. As such, the Omaha-based second district went to Harris by close to 10 points, which allowed her to snag an electoral vote there. Trump easily won the other two districts.
Nevada: The state was seen as competitive, as Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden didn't win it by much in 2016 or 2020, respectively. Harris and Trump, however, focused more on larger states (electorally), and Harris ended up winning the state by 2.1 points.
New Hampshire: Trump came only a couple thousand votes shy of winning New Hampshire in 2016, but lost it by over 7 points in 2020. The state didn't regret changing their mind about Trump, and Harris won the state by 8.3 points.
New Jersey: Deep blue New Jersey went to Harris by close to 20 points.
New Mexico: Another former battleground state that had become a Democratic stronghold, Harris won New Mexico by 14.2 points.
New York: The disparity between the voting patterns of the states urban and rural areas became even more extreme, as Harris won by close to 25 points.
North Carolina: Harris spent huge amounts of time and money in North Carolina in an effort to flip the state. Stacey Abrams expanded her get-out-the-vote drive into North Carolina, which helped restore voting rights to huge numbers of African Americans and helped to register many more. Still, the state remained uncalled for over 2 days after the election. Ultimately, Harris won by 0.2%, and was one of her narrowest wins.
North Dakota: This flyover state went to Trump by over 30 points.
Ohio: Recognizing that the state was no longer in play for Democrats, Harris became the first Democrat in many decades to not even visit Ohio once on the campaign trail. Trump won Ohio by 13.9 points, and incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown lost by over 5 points.
Oklahoma: Harris became the first Democrat since 1964 to win Oklahoma City, or to be more generic, Oklahoma County. She also came very close to winning the city of Tulsa, or Tulsa County. Trump still won the state by about 30 points, but the blue shift in those 2 cities gave local Democrats a reason to be optimistic for the first time in decades.
Oregon: Oregon ceased to be a battleground state nearly 20 years earlier, and Harris won by over 15 points.
Pennsylvania: President Biden campaigned enormously for his VP here, and attempted to revitalize the Democratic party in the state's rural areas. Trump also held many rallies here. Pennsylvania was nip-and-tuck on election night, but it finally was called for Harris in the wee hours of the morning. Her margin was only about 1 point.
Rhode Island: Like the rest of New England, Rhode Island went to Harris very easily, by over 20 points.
South Carolina: Although there were murmurings of the state being potentially competitive, Harris chose to focus more on its sister state in the north. Trump won by 10.2 points.
South Dakota: Like its northern twin, South Dakota went to Trump by over 30 points.
Tennessee: The Beshear-induced voter drive from Democrats did push the state left, similar to Kentucky. Trump won by over 20 points, but his margin was less than it was in 2020.
Texas: The massive growth in the state's major cities had turned Texas from being a deep red state to being a major bellwether. Harris held several huge rallies in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, and a few other big cities. Trump tried to increase his performance with his faithful base of rural voters. Every pundit said that Texas was a pure tossup. At around 5 AM on Wednesday morning, the Associated Press called Texas for Harris, with 100% of the votes in and her leading by about 1 point. Harris's strength, as expected, came from the major cities, while Trump's came from the rural areas. Trump also won nearly 70% of the Latino vote from the southern border counties, but this wasn't enough to overcome his very poor performance in the cities.
Utah: Another state where a Democratic grassroots movement urged Gen Z and millennial voters to break with their conservative parents and vote for Harris. Trump won by about 15%, indicating that the movement had been somewhat successful and should continue.
Vermont: The first state called for Harris on election night went to her by over 30 points.
Virginia: After Biden won the state by over 10 points in 2020, it became abundantly clear that Virginia was no longer a battleground state. Harris won by about 14 points, and flipped a couple more counties into the Democratic column.
Washington: The last of the 3 left coast states went to Harris by about 20 points.
West Virginia: Trump won every county in West Virginia, buoying him to a nearly 40 point margin of victory.
Wisconsin: This was the state where Trump spent the most time and money. He outspent Harris in the state by a significant amount. Most pundits agreed that Wisconsin would be the most difficult Biden state for Harris to hold, as Governor Tony Evers lost reelection by close to 10 points in 2022, and Senator Ron Johnson was reelected by a margin close to that concurrently. Both races were considered to be competitive. Shortly after Harris was declared to be President-elect, Wisconsin was called for Trump. Although Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin survived reelection, Trump won the state by 1.9 points, considerably more than he did in 2016.
Wyoming: Finally, this ruby red state gave Trump his highest margin of victory, one of over 40 points.
Like 2020, Trump refused to accept the results and insisted that he was cheated out of victory a second time. However, all of his lawsuits were proven to be bogus and they actually ended up leaving Trump almost bankrupt. A month after the election, Trump was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes. Harris was inaugurated as the 47th president, and Trump ended up passing away 2 years later.