Grading the 2020 Election

The winners and losers in the November vote

Chris Gaitten
Voting booths

Nevada is probably still counting, but finally—mercifully—the 2020 election is over and done. The results will be debated in the dumbest corners of the internet and cable TV for years, but there were actual winners and losers of the races. And while many outcomes are clear, we’ve also identified some other champs and chumps of 2020’s political quagmire.  


Decisive Voters: Republican Stephanie Kunze won her Ohio Senate race in western Columbus by 130 votes; the Gahanna-Jefferson school levy passed by 75—a big year for “every vote counts” sloganeers. 

Bluer ’Burbs: The Democratic shift of suburban House seats was solidified with easy wins for Mary Lightbody (Westerville), Beth Liston (Dublin) and Allison Russo (Upper Arlington). 

Liquor for All: Seven of eight local options for alcohol sales were victorious, perhaps owing to lessons learned during a boozy year of dealing with pandemic stress. 


Board of Corrections: Franklin County’s board started off a logistically difficult election with a huge blunder, sending 50,000 absentee ballots to the wrong voters. 

Not-So-Great Unknowns: Disgraced state legislator Larry Householder seemed ripe for an upset, but he still crushed four write-in candidates to reclaim his seat, with federal charges pending. 

The Rickety Republic: Despite an orderly election, given the circumstances, attacks on its legitimacy by unhinged citizens and thirsty politicians have remade the world’s oldest democracy into the frailest.