A drawn-out national presidential election was drawn out even longer in New York state, with 1.7 million absentee ballots counted long after Joe Biden secured enough electoral votes to be declared the president-elect.
New York certified its election results on December 4, offering a full snapshot of how the state acted politically.
Biden easily carried the state overall and its 29 electoral votes with 60 percent of the vote, continuing the Democratic dominance at the presidential level that has ensued in every cycle since 1988.
Reflecting the 2016 election and the past two gubernatorial contests, many upstate areas went for the Republican, though to a smaller measure.
Four years ago, despite losing the state overall, President Donald Trump vastly improved on Mitt Romney’s 2012 performance. Every county, with the exception of Tompkins, Westchester, and the borough of Manhattan, swung more to the right than they had in 2012, and Trump was able to flip a good number of counties Barack Obama had won four years prior.
In 2020, Joe Biden was able to flip a total of four counties that Trump won in 2016, most of them in eastern New York — Broome, Saratoga, Essex, and Rensselaer. As expected, he also carried the counties that hold upstate’s large cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Ithaca, and Albany.
Trump did not flip any county that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but he was able to hold onto most of the Obama counties that he flipped four years ago — Niagara, Cayuga, Seneca, Cortland, Madison, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Warren, Washington, Sullivan, and Orange, as well as Suffolk County on Long Island and the borough of Staten Island.
The candidates ran close in two counties where the winner was decided by fewer than 100 votes: Ontario County in western New York and Warren County, home to the city of Glens Falls. On a vote margin basis, Trump’s best performing county was Wyoming County, where he earned 71 percent of the vote, and Biden did best in Manhattan, getting 86 percent of the vote.
Because of higher turnout this year, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence outperformed their raw vote totals from 2016 all across the state, garnering 425,265 more votes this time. At the same time, Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris received 674,867 more votes than Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine did four years ago.
The state's electors will meet in Albany on Monday to cast their 29 electoral votes for Biden and Harris. This will likely be the last time New York has 29 electoral votes, as the state is expected to lose one and possibly two seats in the House of Representatives following the 2020 Census.