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The Far-Right Continues to Speculate About the 2020 Election

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when-your-own-world-views-prevent-you-from-living-in-actual-reality

This is the latest forum post that caught my attention about the 2020 election from someone I would consider to be a member of the far-right Trump cult that refuses to face the reality of his defeat:

Of course, they will tell you the reason their bloke won is that his opponent, a successful businessman with a 10-year hit TV show, who draws crowds upwards of 30 to 40 thousand wherever he appears, who closed the Southern border to illegal entry, which improved the economy, made America energy independent, stopped other nations from taking financial advantage of us, created record job growth, especially among minorities, lowered the welfare rolls, brokered four peace agreements in the Middle East and told the World Economic Council, with its "Great Resettlement" plan, where to get off---they tell us this person is universally HATED by people who vote and that's why the other dude won.

Okay. Good. That explains it. We might as well also ignore the fact that this hated guy, in 2020, and that other Prez, BHO, in 2012, both captured 18 out of 19 of the bellwether states, while the fair-haired boy from Delaware captured just 1 of the 19 in 2020. Odd... but what the hey!

And, while we're at it, let's ignore the fact that BHO, in 2012, won 873 counties, DJT, in 2020, won 2,497 counties and the guy running against DJT, in 2020, won just 477 counties.

So the universally despised guy won over 2,000 more counties than the guy who can't draw flies, and he won over 1,600 more counties than the esteemed BHO, but somehow the basement dweller got 80+ million nods in the main event.

Oh right. He was just lucky enough to win in the seven or eight counties that make the difference in the battleground states.
Oh, oh. What's this? The guy who wins Florida, Ohio and Iowa nearly always wins for Prez but this time, the winner LOST Florida, Ohio and Iowa?

The next thing they'll try to tell us is that, whereas BHO and DJT WON House seats for their party in their second go-round for Prez, Mr. Nobody managed to LOSE 15 House seats for his party while still racking up 80+ million big ones for Prez. I guess the "coattails" rule is hereby canceled.

So there you go. Miracles happen every day in the beautiful land of make-believe. Just watch out for traffic at that next intersection. Those cars whizzing past are real.

Let's break it down and clarify a few things to help this person return to reality.

Doubting Those Accomplishments

I think the first place to begin is by examining all those accomplishments that were listed.

  • Successful businessman? Try fraudster whose company just got indicted and someone with a track record of stiffing suppliers.
  • Closed the Southern border? Barely built any of his wall and used policies that the rest of the world decried as inhumane to punish immigrants for attempting to emigrate here, leading to double-digit deaths of children among other accomplishments.
  • Created record job growth? Not according to the data. His job creation was well below Obama's. Trump supporters like to give Trump the credit of an unemployment rate that fell to 3.5% during four years. When he took office, it was just 4.2%, down from 10% when Obama began fixing the train wreck left to him by Bush. Clearly Obama did the majority of the heavy lifting on job creation until Trump's horrific Covid response left him with a net negative job creation record by the end of his term.

How Hated Was He? A Numerical Analysis

The one part the poster got right was that Trump was hated. He had a record low average approval rating of any president with a 41% mark and was the only president in history never to hit the 50% approval mark at any point during his term.

While an average of 88% of Republicans approved of the job he was doing, only 7% of Democrats. This 81% difference is the largest in history by a full 11-percentage points.

Only 37% of independents approved of the job done by Trump.

With 31% of the country registering Democratic, 25% Republican, and 41% as Independent. Using the approval numbers and extrapolating them out, 93% of 31% of the country is 28.83% of Democrats already set against Trump. 63% of the 41% of Independents that thought Trump was doing poorly is another 25.83% of the country.

There were even 12% of Republicans, many who made up groups such as the Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, and the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform (REPAIR) which was made up of former government officials who could see how unprincipled Trump operated.

With just Democrats and Independents, the figure already stands at around 54% of the country. When you add in the 12% of those 25% of Republicans, you can add another 3% to the total for 57% of the country.

Biden only got 51.3% of the vote, but there was clearly a higher percentage that was not happy with the job Trump had done while in office.

The reality of how many people liked Trumpism

The reality of how many people liked Trumpism

The Claim About Bellweather 'States'

Next, the poster tries to make the case that bellweather 'states,' which means areas that have voted in step with the winner of an election for consecutive years, mostly went for Trump, so that has to be proof that he won.

First off, they aren't states, they are counties.

Since 1980, there were 19 counties that had sided with the eventual winner. In 2020, 18 of those 19 went for Trump. That leaves just Clallam County in the state of Washington as the only county to have sided with the winner of the presidency since 1980.

In my home state of New York, the two bellweathers were Cortland County (21,893 total votes) and Otsego County (28,080 total votes). Both of these bellweathers in New York are small rural counties so it would figure they would skew towards Trumpism since that's who he targets with his rallies and propaganda.

Fivethirtyeight does a nice job of breaking down how these counties no longer represent the demographics of the current America that is more diverse and more educated than the current population trends that exist in these counties.

In larger, urbanized and educated areas such as New York City, Trumpism gets decimated. Biden crushed Trump with 2,321,759 votes for 76% of the total to just 691,682 for Trump at 23%.

Those two small bellweathers had Biden only behind by a few thousand in Otsego and less in Cortland County. In Ottawa County, Ohio, the total votes cast were around 24,000. Van Buren County in Michigan had around 38,000 voters for Trump or Biden. The maximum totals for these counties was just 66,000 while the smallest was just under 2,000.

Trumpism was all about the rural voter, but the difference this time was that educated women in the suburbs went for Biden. So it wasn't really a surprise that Trump carried all these small bellweather counties. That's his bread and butter.

In 2016, a shift occurred in bellweathers way out to the right

In 2016, a shift occurred in bellweathers way out to the right

Total Counties

As we noticed in looking at the smaller counties, a difference of 1,000-2,000 really won't be enough to overcome a huge decimation in large cities. In swing states, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, and Milwaukee were all going to be a problem if they went in the same direction as New York City did.

Indeed, Biden carried 81% of the vote in Philadephia, 93% in Detroit, nearly 80% in Atlanta, and almost 70% in Milwaukee.

Certainly, the poster wants us to believe that land should be the decider of the 2020 election. The only problem is that land doesn't vote, people do as noted by the two images below.

If Land Decided the Election

If Land Decided the Election

When People Decide an Election

When People Decide an Election

Last Points

As for losing the White House despite winning Florida, Ohio and Iowa, Nixon proved that could be done, so precedent exists for that possibility. Not sure why that's an argument as proof.

And we've already discussed how more small counties lean Republican, so House seats will likely swing towards Republicans because they own more state houses and gerrymandering would certainly help those results. Not sure how tying those races to the presidency would prove anything at all.

Pure Supposition

This whole argument made by the far-right poster is very similar to the supposition used by the Trump Campaign in arguing before the courts. Using trends and historical data to try and prove that fraud actually occurred is not proof of anything. All it shows was that this election was certainly different than past years.

What might have been different? A global pandemic for sure that helped allow record turnout. And the United States' disastrous response to that pandemic certainly was going to be a factor in how people voted.

I liken the fraud claims to gun rights. In one corner, you have someone claiming a person shot someone because they own a gun. No one saw a shooting, there were no bullet casings, and there was no body. Just because a gun was owned and the possibility existed that a shooting could occur, the far-right is arguing that it must have happened.

The same thing is happening here. They believe there were ways to illegally vote, yet they cannot prove many more than a random few people did. Because there was a possibility of someone committing a crime, they assume that it must have happened by everyone, in this case because they did not get their way and have Donald Trump elected.

That is speculating in order to get to live in one's own reality. It's the stuff crazy people are made of. And right now, this country has about 75% of the Republican Party that is definitely living in Crazytown with no plans to relocate anytime soon.

Trump put that bug in their ear early on in the campaign and let it fester. That is called brainwashing. Repeating an idea over and over again until it becomes someone's reality. In this case, around 60 million people's reality.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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