No, It Wasn’t Election Fraud – Michigan Edition

This post is the second in an irregular series of posts on how Joe Biden flipped five states in last month’s election – and no, it wasn’t fraud.

Yesterday, I went into the numbers in Pennsylvania to show how Trump’s assertion of a wave of fake ballots from Philadelphia was false. Today, I’ll address Michigan, which has also been a target of Trump’s invective since it flipped to Biden. Trump and his minions are taking it as an article of faith that chicanery in Detroit led to Biden’s victory. The numbers, however, say something else.

Dave Leip (the source for my Pennsylvania data) only has data at the county level, which is granular enough for Philly (where the county and the city are the same thing), but not for Detroit (which is in Wayne County). That said, Detroit tracks its own election results. We can compare 2020 to 2016.

  • 2016: Clinton – 234,871, Trump 7,682; Margin = 227,189
  • 2020: Biden – 233,908, Trump 12,564; Margin = 211,344
  • Biden net loss = 15,845

So not only did Detroit not deliver the votes Biden needed to eliminate Clinton’s 10,704 deficit, Trump gained a net 15,000+ votes in the city. So how did Biden manage to win where Clinton had lost? Once again, the answer is in the suburbs.

We can start with Wayne County itself.

  • 2016: Clinton – 519,444, Trump 228,993; Margin = 290,451
  • 2020: Biden – 597,170, Trump 264,553; Margin = 332,617
  • Biden net gain = 42,166
  • Biden net gain outside of Detroit = 58,011

That result – all by itself – was enough to turn Clinton’s defeat into Biden’s victory.

But wait, there’s more! We can also look at the two major suburban counties: Oakland and Macomb.

  • Oakland
    • 2016: Clinton – 343,070, Trump 289,203; Margin = 53,867
    • 2020: Biden – 434,148, Trump 325,971; Margin = 108,177
    • Biden net gain = 54,310
  • Macomb
    • 2016: Clinton – 176,317, Trump 224,665; Margin = -48,348
    • 2020: Biden – 223,952, Trump 263,863; Margin = -29,911
    • Biden net gain = 18,437
    • Biden total net suburban gain = 130,758

Those numbers speak for themselves. Biden won Michigan by more than 100,000 votes. These three counties showed why …

… except for Detroit, where Biden had a smaller advantage than Clinton did.

This is the second state where suburban voters turned on Trump, only to have him focus his ire on the larger city that those suburbs surround.

Is it a coincidence that – in both states – the city has a far higher share of Black voters?

See also:

No, It Wasn’t Election Fraud – Pennsylvania Edition

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