Election results, fraud, etc

Continuing the discussion from Our days on social media are numbered:

Brothers, I’m moving the election discussion over to this new topic, since it’s fairly off topic from the other post. I should have done this some time ago. Carry on.

Do you have anything I can look at to read more detail about this? Suffice it to say I consider the circumstantial evidence of election fraud to be overwhelming (including video of Biden himself boasting about his comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud operation) but I’m also wary of becoming a mirror image of the Russia lunatics.

I would like to read something from your perspective that looks at real numbers instead of boiling down to “LOL-Trump’s lawsuits got dismissed. Get rekt.”

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Here’s an article by a friend.

Consider the source. I know of VDare’s reputation. But it’s a data driven piece.

County level data can be accessed from Wikipedia, which keeps fairly detailed presidential election data from every county in every state. They rely on Dave Leip.

Another good source is the Daily Kos elections page.

“Elections 2019-20” https://elections.dailykos.com/app/elections/2020

Michael Tracey, a liberal journalist of the Glenn Greenwald school, meaning he’s a contrarian and willing to challenge both sides, has written helpfully about the election here:

“Why Everyone Should Feel Stupid After This Election | by Michael Tracey | Medium” https://mtracey.medium.com/why-everyone-should-feel-stupid-after-this-election-73faab96259

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Here’s one more. Smart liberals are not comforted by the election result. There is a growing divide between the educated and non-educated, which spells trouble for parties of the left not just here but around the world.

“David Shor’s Postmortem of the 2020 Election” https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/11/david-shor-analysis-2020-election-autopsy-democrats-polls.html

Thank you. I’ve been considering writing up a postmortem on my election prediction. This will help my thoughts, even if I don’t do that.

John,

I have spent WAY too much time looking into this and I agree with Ben that all of the evidence points away from mass voter fraud in urban areas being the cause of Trumps loss.

I don’t see how any of the claims of fraud, anomaly, etc. make sense of the fact that Trump didn’t underperform in the cities at the center of controversy, he underperformed in much better run suburban counties. Take a look at the counties in Georgia with the biggest pro-Biden shifts: https://www.politico.com/2020-election/results/georgia/ These are mostly well run suburban counties. Fulton county shifted from +42 Hillary to +46 Biden while other counties shifted 10+ points toward Biden. Also, look at the precinct by precinct level shifts here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/17/upshot/georgia-precinct-shift-suburbs.html The urban core of Atlanta shifted (slightly) pro-Trump, the wealthier and whiter precincts shifted away. I can’t get my head around a set of background causation that leads to Democratic machine fraud in Fulton causing a 4 point shift toward Democrats (that is actually overstating it, Johnsons strong showing in 2016 confounds things further) and also a 10+ point Democratic shift in Gwinnett, Cobb, Fayette and Forsyth counties.

This pattern was pretty consistent nationwide. Wealthier, whiter, better educated suburbs shifted much harder against Trump than big cities did. Somehow all of that fraud in Philadelphia managed to get Democrats from +67 in 2016 all of the way up to…+63.5 in 2020! In my own very red state the most consequential move against Trump was in populous, wealthy, educated, and red St. Charles County, a major suburb of St. Louis.

The real story of the election is easily understood, it showed up in pre-election polling, it shows up in exit polls, and it shows up in vote totals. Educated white voters all across the country turned on Trump, and in some areas blue collar white voters did as well. All of the attention has been on the big cities, but Trump out-performed in cities with large minority populations. For pre-election polling showing the shift coming see here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-losing-ground-with-white-voters-but-gaining-among-black-and-hispanic-americans/ For exit polling showing the same shift see here: https://www.brookings.edu/research/2020-exit-polls-show-a-scrambling-of-democrats-and-republicans-traditional-bases/

I’m concerned about this for two reasons. 1) I think conservatism, at its best, is focused on reality and dealing with the world as it actually is. Grand Narrative stuff is corrosive. There will always be right-wing conspiracy theorists and fabulists, but resisting the siren song of a politically desirable set of “facts” is imperative. 2) I think the actual facts on the ground, that a major realignment is taking place with Trump making headway among Latinos, mostly holding blue collar whites, and losing white collar whites, is a much more interesting and fruitful thing to discuss than the fraud stuff. As late as 2012 college educated whites were the most Republican demographic, Trump held them in 2016, but outright lost them in 2020. That is a major shift in a few years.

I have serious concerns about election integrity, though it mostly centers around the use of mail in voting and to a lesser extent voting machines. If I had my way mail in voting would be limited to the military only and we would get rid of voting machines (on the voter interface side) completely. However, I also generally think states should be allowed to run their own elections. Don’t take the above to mean that I think fraud is impossible or an unworthy topic for discussion. I just think it needs to be abstracted from the 2020 results where the fraud mechanisms that have been floated don’t match the facts on the ground.

[Edited to add: If anyone wants to dig in deeper it is interesting to look more closely at the precinct by precinct 2016-2020 changes. This article contains a map showing which way each precinct in Philadelphia shifted in 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/07/us/elections/pennsylvania-counties-battleground-state.html Compare it against the poverty rate and median income of the Philly neighborhoods shown here: https://whyy.org/articles/new-census-figures-on-philly-neighborhoods-show-inequality-high-numbers-of-whites-living-in-poverty/ The precincts where Democrats improved in 2020 are in the richest parts of town (Center City - median household income $75k+; Chestnut Hill $80k+) and Trump gained the most ground in the poorest parts of the city (North Philly - median household income <$20k). It is really striking. No one seems to want to talk about it because it doesn’t fit any of the neat culture war narratives. Keep in mind that these are directional only, most of these precinct are very very blue.
Further edit to clarify/correct: I listed four Georgia suburban counties with large anti-Trump shifts as “all red counties” which isn’t quite the case - Cobb and Gwinnett both went Democrat in 2016 by 2 and 8 points, respectively. They were both strongly Republican in the pre-Trump era, and are still mostly governed by Republicans, but if you are only looking only at Presidential races calling them red could be seen as misleading. Both are relatively white wealthy inner suburbs and both shifter 12 points further Democratic in 2020. Fayette and Forsyth were +20 and +49 Republican in 2016 and shifted 13 and 16 points Democratic in 2020, respectively.]

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Thanks for responding, Clay. I’ll peruse your resources, but it looks like you’re taking basically the same tack as Ben: Looking at macro-trends in Trump’s performance among various demographics and concluding that he lost fair and square. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t convinced when I read Ben’s links. There can be lots of macro-trends that worked against Trump, but across the various swing states, he only lost by something like 20,000 votes. It doesn’t really matter how Trump performed among college educated voters in general, it matters whether the votes that were counted in swing states were real votes.

I’ll read your links, particularly the precinct-level stuff. But as of now, my objection remains: The circumstantial evidence of election fraud is overwhelming to me:

  1. Multiple of these swing states announced that they’d halted counting in the middle of the night. Some of them actually hadn’t. This alone demands a literal federal case.
  2. Multiple irregularities with election monitors, from corralling them many yards away from the actual counting, to cheering when they were evicted, to defying USSC orders for them to be admitted (!).
  3. Multiple affidavits testifying to various forms of banal voter fraud: ordinary ballot box-stuffing. Without looking up the numbers, almost none of the Trump team’s lawsuits made it to an evidentiary phase of the court process. They were almost all dismissed on procedural grounds rather than evidentiary grounds.
  4. The Democrats have a record of election fraud. The fact that they rigged Illinois in 1960 is essentially a historical fact, and numerous Democrats get arrested for various kinds of election fraud on a regular basis. The Democratic Party also rigged both the 2016 primary and the 2020 primary against Bernie Sanders. These are all things I can see from my sofa here at my house.
  5. The Democrats have been trying to convince us that Trump is Literally Hitler for five years now. Am I supposed to believe that this has had no effect on rank-and-file Democrats, like people in a position to vote extra ballots mailed to their houses, or poll workers? Am I to believe that these people believe of themselves that they would have given literally Hitler a fair shake in the '33 elections in Germany?
  6. Trump was playing defense in an era when very few incumbents lose. The fundamentals of incumbency before the election favored Trump. The fundamentals of swing states and swing counties also favored him, overwhelmingly. Count me skeptical that 2020 represents a major shift in the electorate, though I’m open to being convinced otherwise.
  7. The Democrats have acted guilty as sin through this whole episode, from the irregularities I noted in points 1 and 2 to deleting voting machine records, refusing audits, etc. They have barely even tried to defend how the election was run, with the basic response to most of these boiling down to “haha laches, get rekt.” I seriously doubt that a comprehensive and inclusive voter fraud operation was run out of Biden’s basement in Delaware–his testimony of that fact notwithstanding–but I think that my point 5 parsimoniously explains why Democrats have stonewalled any and all investigation into irregularities. Of course, nobody wants to re-litigate a case that they won, but I suspect that they understand that one possible result of their overheated rhetoric of the last five years is voter fraud, and they aren’t interested in seeing what crawls out if rocks get overturned.

None of this is proof that Biden’s ~20,000 vote margin was fraudulent. Very little of it even qualifies as evidence, really. But it all stacks up to make me highly doubtful of the outcome here.

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I don’t know where you are getting the 20,000 votes number? Trump needed 270 electoral votes, and got 232. If he was able to get the extra votes for that in the most efficient method possible (winning by 1 vote in each of the closest and highest leverage states) it would take about 12,000 in Georgia (16 EC), a little over 10,000 in Arizona (+11 EC = 27EC), A little over 20,000 in Wisconsin (+10 EC = 37 EC), and a little over 30,000 in Nevada (+6 EC = 43 EC Win!). So in a spherical cow world where you can flip votes where they are needed most, Trump needed to gain about 72,000 votes. That sounds really close - but it isn’t unusual. In 2016 an additional 60,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would have given the EC to Hillary. 2004 was similarly close (around 100,000 votes needed) and 2000 was, of course, much closer.

And I’m not making a claim about macro-trends. I’m saying that those who are accusing election staffers or officials of fraud need to explain the fact that Trump generally outperformed in the counties and precincts where the fraud is alleged.

I may answer all of your points in detail later, but I want to address #4. I hear all of the time that Democrats are cheaters and the implication is that Republicans don’t cheat. However, the most recent well-attested election steal at the federal level was orchestrated by Republican operatives: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_North_Carolina’s_9th_congressional_district_election There are some types of voter fraud that are easier to orchestrate in high density urban districts. But there are hundreds of deep red counties with no Democrat election observers (like mine, almost 90% for Trump) and we are kidding ourselves if we think the willingness to cheat, or the demonization of the other party, is only on one side.

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I understand being doubtful of the outcome, especially in light of the fact the mail in votes that decided the election were counted so late, and we didn’t know what the result would be until 3 or 4 days after election. What terrible optics! It’s like they want people to have 0 confidence in our elections.

I agree 100% with everything Ben has said on this topic, so I won’t reiterate any of it. But I think it’s worth adding on this point that I could have told you ahead of time which states had made what decisions and therefore which ones were going to be delayed. As well as which way the mailin votes would fall. Not because of fraud but because of the demographics and sizes of various precincts combined with Covid realities. In fact, I read about it from 538 ahead of time.

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To Joseph’s point: In at least Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan GOP lawmakers refused to allow election officials to begin counting mail-in votes until election day. The reason the results were received and reported in an orderly, and early, fashion in Florida is because they began processing ballots as they were received. Here is an NY Post article discussing it after the fact: https://nypost.com/2020/11/05/swing-state-gop-lawmakers-refused-early-vote-processing-sewing-current-chaos/

It was much talked about prior to the election, and many people predicted it would create just the situation we had. Early results show big Republican leads (the so called “red mirage”) and heavily Democratic mail in votes would then eat into that lead and overcome it (the “blue shift”). This could have been avoided by running the other state elections the way Florida did.

Also, its interesting to see the way the politics of different voting methods have played out. This year Republicans are opposed to mass mail-in voting, but prior to 2020 many Republican legislatures have been pushing additional mail-in voting on the theory that it will favor older people who are more likely to vote Republican. Prior to 2020 the pro-mail-in vs. anti-mail-in debate didn’t have the contours that COVID gave it.

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My numbers were mistaken. Thank you for correcting them. My point stands that the margin was extremely close, and well within the margin of fraud, especially if the more egregious claims of ballot-box stuffing are true.

One swallow doesn’t make spring, Clay. Cheating at the ballot box has been a way of life in American cities for centuries now, and those cities are 100% run by Democratic machines in our day. It’s well known that Democrats stole the 1960 election for Kennedy. Has anyone ever been held to account for this? If not, why would anyone expect them to change?

If the Democrats weren’t cheating, they certainly wanted to make it look like they were cheating. Covering up the windows? Refusing to admit poll observers despite a USSC order? Cock-and-bull stories about water leaks shutting down the count? It’s hard to even imagine good-faith explanations for all of this.


This is a video using voting data that the news agencies used to report election results.