Biden won in counties that had stronger pre-pandemic economic growth, study finds


Joe Biden won in counties that enjoyed stronger economic growth before the pandemic than those won by President Trump, according to new election results data. Those same Biden-supporting counties were also hit harder by the pandemic than Trump counties.

“Biden performed well in counties that prior to the pandemic were experiencing stronger growth in employment, business establishments, and wages,” according to an analysis on Monday by the Economic Innovation Group, a bipartisan public policy organization. However, the analysis shows that those same counties during the pandemic have been hit “particularly hard.”

“[This is] likely a downstream effect of the fact that former Vice President Biden did better in major metropolitan areas, while President Trump won counties outside these urban centers,” the group added.

Between February 2018 and February 2020, counties won by Biden had higher levels of employment, more growth in business establishments, and higher weekly wages than those won by Trump, according to the analysis.

Biden counties, conversely, had a slightly higher increase in their unemployment rates during the pandemic, a 4 percentage-point increase in the past year, compared to a 2.4 percentage-point increase for Trump counties.

Biden counties include Maricopa in Arizona and Cook in Illinois, while Trump counties are made up of places such as Nassau in New York and Collin in Texas.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton famously boasted that she won the economically prosperous parts of the United States during the 2016 election.

“I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product,” Clinton said during a speech in Mumbai in 2018.

“So, I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,' was looking backwards,” said Clinton.

In the two years prior to the pandemic, Biden counties had an average employment growth rate of 1.7%, compared to 1.1% for Trump counties. Biden counties had a growth in business establishments of 3.9% versus 2.4% by counties Trump won, and Biden counties saw an average increase in wage of 5.7%, while workers in Trump counties experienced a 5.2% bump.

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