Trump was in office for one day before the first mass protest began

We’re down to the final two days to vote in the 2020 election after a campaign season that often felt like one of the longest in living memory. Here are eight events that shaped this year’s races:

The inauguration of President Donald J. Trump

Yes, one of the most defining moments of 2020 happened nearly four years ago. In 2016, many Democrats took the race for granted and assumed there was no way Trump would ever get elected president of the United States. But the day after he set foot in the Oval Office, the National Mall was the scene of the massive Women’s March, and Democratic voters and donors began an urgent and sustained push to make sure Trump didn’t get a second term.

Joe Biden wins the Democratic nomination for president

If Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee, Trump and the Republicans would have more easily framed the election as a choice between socialism and capitalism. Biden’s nomination severely blunted that argument since people had already lived through eight years of him being a heartbeat away from the top job, and it kept the frame of the election on Trump’s behavior and record in office. Rep. James E. Clyburn’s endorsement and role in helping Biden win the South Carolina Democratic primary is a related pivotal moment, along with Sanders’ early exit and the quick consolidation around the former vice president.

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