Opinion: How Biden Flipped Pennsylvania

The campaign's Deputy Data Director in the swing state reflects on what a Biden win means for the next four years.

(Image: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons)

Nikitha Rai


December 17, 2020

As Donald Trump’s presidency comes to an end, we are left with the consequences of his actions. Over 300,000 Americans have died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our reputation among our strongest democratic allies is in tatters after approval ratings plummeted in Europe, Canada, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. Americans are more divided than at any point in the last two decades, and the democratic process itself is under attack. Over 100 Republican members of Congress have refused to accept the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. The process of selecting a president now involves police escorts and secret locations due to threats of violence. Trump has exhibited a disregard for his fellow citizens’ lives, hostility for democratic institutions, and little commitment to the truth.

In the 2020 presidential election, Trump bet that most Americans approved of his style. Joe Biden made the opposite bet. Arguing that the election was a ‘battle for the soul of the nation,’ he offered voters an alternative in terms of leadership style. The bet paid off — over 70 million people voted for four more years of a Trump presidency, but 10 million more voted for a change.

I left my tiny New York City apartment in August this year for my hometown in Erie, Pennsylvania, to work on Biden’s presidential campaign as Deputy Data Director in Pennsylvania. Erie had grown used to national politicians who visited every four years but never seemed to stop the jobs from leaving. Initially, Trump held massive appeal as an outsider attempting to change the status quo. In 2016, Erie went red for the first time in over 30 years and helped swing the state to Trump. But many who had voted for Trump in 2016 were considering Biden in 2020.

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