2020 Election Results

In a year like 2020, it is fitting that the presidential election and a number of down-ballot races have gone into political overtime. According to preliminary estimates, 160 million Americans participated in the 2020 general election shattering the previous record of 138 million in 2016. It remains uncertain if the country will eclipse the modern-era record for turnout as a share of the voting-eligible population last set at 63.8 percent in 1960.

It was clear from the early results that polling and predictions generally proved unreliable. Once more, the big leads projected for former Vice President Joe Biden (D) in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin did not materialize, while cumulative polling projections did correctly forecast Arizona and potentially Georgia. For the fourth consecutive major statewide race in Florida, the overwhelming number of pollsters failed to correctly project the Republican winner. It also appears the cumulative polling community was wrong in several top Senate races, including those featured in Georgia (non-special election race), Maine, Michigan, and North Carolina.

The Presidency 

The biggest prize on Election Day is still “TBD.” At this writing, former Vice President Joe Biden has won the popular vote and continues to hold a lead in the Electoral College vote. He can also claim the honor of receiving more votes than any other presidential candidate in American history. Legal challenges from the President Donald Trump’s campaign are underway in several states, as the late counting of mail ballots has switched Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania from a Trump lead a Biden advantage. 

Michigan and Wisconsin have been projected for Mr. Biden. There is a slim chance that Arizona could possibly switch from Mr. Biden to President Trump, while Nevada should still yield a close win for the former vice president. If Arizona switches and North Carolina holds for Trump, the race will then come down to the final counts in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The current results in these states stand at: 


Donald Trump 

Joe Biden 





Biden +39,769




Biden +1,582




Biden +20,137 

North Carolina 



Trump +76,701 




Biden +13,718

At the end of the preliminary process, we will likely see an Electoral College victory for Mr. Biden, which the Trump campaign is expected to challenge in court over various legal issues particularly relating to the Pennsylvania and Michigan process, and possibly also Georgia. Because the Wisconsin result fell within the one percentage point victory margin, the votes will be recounted in accordance with state law. Georgia will also likely proceed with a recount given the narrow 1,582 vote margin.

U.S. Senate 

Four Senate races remain outstanding in Alaska, Georgia (2), and North Carolina. Republicans are expected to hold Alaska, but results will not be known in North Carolina until November 12 and not in Georgia until 2021. The latter state’s special election for the U.S. Senate seat will head to a run-off election on January 5, 2021, and its other Senate race is expected to as well unless Sen. David Perdue* manages to cross the 50 percent threshold when all remaining ballots are counted. Should these races play out as expected, Republicans will have proved most political analysts wrong as predictions had the party losing upwards of seven seats. So far, only two Republican incumbents have fallen to their Democratic challengers - Sens. Martha McSally* (R-AZ) and Cory Gardner* (R-CO). Republicans were also able to help offset these losses by defeating freshman Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. Going into the next Congress, the balance of power is expected to be 50 Republican to 48 Democrats with the Georgia run-off elections determining the final two seats.

AGC PAC, the association’s political action committee, supported 27 Senate candidates for election. When the above races are called, the PAC expects to have 24 wins and three losses (Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan) resulting in an 89 percent success rating. Included in the list of winning candidates are two senators-elect, Bill Hagerty* (R-TN) and Roger Marshall* (R-KS), who will bring professional construction experience to the chamber. 

U.S. House of Representatives 

House Republicans have cause to celebrate as their candidates fared better than expected. According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Republicans were expected to lose 10-15 seats further deepening the party in the minority. While nearly 40 races remain uncalled, a reasonable projection suggests the Democrats will return to the House with a majority margin approximately seven seats less than in the current Congress. This would make the new majority 226 Democrats and 209 Republicans, and certainly put House control front and center for the 2022 election cycle. 

In the House, AGC PAC supported 187 Democratic and Republican candidates running on Election Day. As of this writing, 170 of them have won their respective elections with more races to be called in the coming days. The PAC’s success rating is projected to be around 94 percent.


Only two (Missouri and Montana) of the 11 gubernatorial races on the ballot this year were considered competitive, but Tuesday’s results said otherwise. Republicans were defending seven seats to the Democrats four, and were able to comfortably hold Missouri by 16 points and flip Montana that completed a Republican sweep of the top four statewide offices. At-Large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new governor replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) who lost the Senate race to incumbent Steve Daines* (R). 

Please visit advocacy.agc.org if you are interested in learning more about AGC’s advocacy activities and its political programs.