2020 Election: How it compares to 2000

2020 was a very contentious election: nonetheless it has many similarities to the Election of 2000. Using the history of the next two years following the 2000 Election, we may have some critical insight into what could await us in the following years.

The House: In 2000, the resulting House election was 221 Republicans to 212 Democrats (plus one Independent who caucused with Democrats). In 2020, there are currently 222 Democrats and 212 Republicans, plus one vacant seat.

The Senate: In 2000, the Republicans suffered a net loss of 4 seats, resulting in a tie of 50-50 until Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords decided to caucus with the Democrats, causing the Democrats to become the majority party. In 2020, the Republicans suffered a net loss of 3 seats, resulting in a tie of 50-50.

The Presidency: In 2000, the resulting election featured 5 states which were won within 0.5%. In 2020, the 5 states featured in the closest elections were won within 1.35% margins. Both elections saw fraud allegations in the aftermath, and much protesting.

The similarities are striking. The Republicans managed a very small majority government in both Houses of Congress and the Executive Branch, similar to the situation of the Democrats today. One thing that for sure can be taken from both elections is that there will be searches on both sides to see if there could be any possible party switches in the Senate. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been reportedly courted by the Republicans before in the hopes of him switching. It is also possible the Democrats could see if Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski would consider switching- as she is the most liberal Republican in the Senate as of now.

Furthermore, with the very slim margins the Democrats currently have, they have one of two options. They can be intensely partisan and- if all their members vote accordingly- succeed in being so, although that might hurt them in the midterms. Option two is that they can be bipartisan and court Republican help in future bills, which would in turn court moderate voters but shun progressives. However the political atmosphere was much more bipartisan in 2000 than it is now, so much meaningful bipartisanship would be no small feat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s