In the 2020 presidential election, 158 million Americans turned out to vote.
But only 42 million of those votes really mattered in deciding who won the White House.
That’s because those 42 million votes came from eight competitive “swing states,” where the winning margin for Trump or Biden was under 5 percent. The other 116 million votes came from states that weren’t competitive at all. Watching the election returns in many of these states was like watching a game between the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals. (Biden won D.C. by 87 percentage points and Vermont by 35, while Trump won Wyoming by 43 and West Virginia by 39).