Howard County Times

Biden earned greater backing in Howard County than any presidential candidate in recorded history

President-elect Joe Biden received a higher share of the vote in Howard County than any presidential candidate in recorded history.

Biden, a Democrat, received 70.7% to incumbent President Donald Trump’s 26.4% among the 183,062 Howard County residents who voted in the presidential race.


While Howard countians have now picked the Democratic nominee in eight straight presidential elections, Biden’s margin of victory is larger than any candidate for president since at least 1892 — the earliest presidential election in which county-by-county data in Maryland is widely available.


Before the 2020 election, no presidential candidate had received more than 68% of the Howard County vote. The largest share prior to Biden was Franklin Roosevelt in his first run for president in 1932.

Roosevelt, a Democrat, received 67.2% of the vote over Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover amid the Great Depression among the 6,190 Howard County voters in 1932. Biden’s victory also came during a crisis, as the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 250,000 Americans and caused an economic downturn.

Five other presidential candidates have won more than 60% of the Howard County vote:

In 1936, Roosevelt won 60.6% of the county vote. Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower won by 63.8% in 1952 and 64.2% in 1956. Republican Richard Nixon won with 63.6% in 1972, and Hillary Clinton won 63.3% of the county’s voters against Trump in 2016. In 1892, only 3,410 Howard countians voted, helping reelect Democrat Grover Cleveland, who won the 1884 election but lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, claim his second term by about 15 points (or 510 votes).

While statewide counting in some jurisdictions is not finished, and the results aren’t scheduled to be certified until Dec. 8, Biden’s margin over Trump as of Monday is 65.3% to 32.2%. The last presidential candidate to get a higher share of the Maryland electorate was Lyndon Johnson, who received 65.47% in 1964. Barack Obama twice won the state with 61.9% of the vote in both 2008 and 2012, while Clinton won 60.3% of Maryland voters in 2016.

Biden’s apparent capturing of Maryland’s 10 electoral votes marks the eighth straight a Democratic presidential candidate has won the state. The last Republican to win Maryland – and Howard County – was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

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While Howard voted for Biden in historic numbers, other Maryland counties backed him at an even higher rate.

As of Monday, 89.3% of voters in Prince George’s County voted for Biden, the highest share of any jurisdiction in the state. About 87% of Baltimore City voters chose Biden, while 78.6% of Montgomery County voters picked him. The only other county near 70% for Biden was Charles County at 69.5%.

While the nation and some jurisdictions in Maryland experienced significantly increased turnout, that didn’t occur in 2020 in Howard County, which normally has high turnout anyway.

Official turnout data won’t be available until after the state certifies the results in December, but approximately 80.8% of Howard County’s 226,634 eligible active voters cast a ballot. By comparison, 78.9% eligible county voters cast ballots in 2016. That number was 81.3% in 2012.