1 good thing Donald Trump did for politics

 1 good thing Donald Trump did for politics

And that was pretty much it — since everyone (or almost everyone) fit into one of those two categories. Which is a bad thing when it comes to our increasing polarization and our growing inability to talk with people with whom we disagree on politics.

But which, it turns out, is a very, very good thing when it comes to voter turnout.

The 2020 election, according to early estimates, will have turnout of at least 61% of eligible voters — the highest since 1960, when 63.8% of eligible voters turned out to choose John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon.  

And in terms of the raw number of votes cast, the 2020 election is already the biggest ever. Even as the count continues nationwide, 148 million votes have been cast for Trump and the man who beat him, President-elect Joe Biden.

By way of comparison, roughly 129 million votes were cast in the 2016 race for Trump and Hillary Clinton.

And putting the two side by side, you can see that the number of people voting Democratic increased from 65.9 million in 2016 to 76.3 million in 2020 while those voting Republican rose from 63 million four years ago to 71.6 million last Tuesday.

That means Democrats have already gained 10.4 million votes (and counting) from 2016 to 2020, while Republicans have netted 8.6 million.

That delta explains why Biden is set to win the popular vote by a significantly larger number than Clinton did, even while losing the Electoral College, in 2016. (Note: Democrats have now won the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections, a feat not accomplished by one party since 1828.)

The Point: It’s been six decades since we’ve seen voter turnout higher than that of the 2020 election. And you can thank Donald Trump — and all his divisiveness — for making sure voters in this country knew the stakes of voting (or not).

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