The Historical Flaws in the "Trump Won" Argument


            The premise of Trump's challenge to the election is that the turnout was unprecedently high, so there must have been fraudulent votes for Biden to win over 81 million votes.


            The nationwide increase in turnout from 1956 to 1960, when the first Catholic president was elected, was 10.9%, compared to 15.8% in 2020 when the second Catholic president won. In 1960, turnout was up 37.3% in Florida, 28.6% in South Carolina, 20.2% in Mississippi, and 17.4% in North Carolina. In 2020, turnout in Georgia was up 20%, Pennsylvania up 12.2%, Michigan up 13.6%, Wisconsin up 9.7%, and Arizona up 28.5%.


            What possibly could have motivated almost 700,000 more voters to register and over 750,000 more voters to cast ballots in Arizona, a state that has voted for a Democrat for president only once in the 72 years since 1948, and has produced two of the Republican Party's presidential nominees? Maybe it was President Trump saying about John McCain, a Vietnam Prisoner of War and Arizona Republican Congressman, Senator, and presidential candidate, "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." Such a comment coming from someone who avoided service in the Vietnam War because of bone spurs in his foot might anger people enough to come out and flip a state that Trump carried with only 47% of the vote in 2016. And then there was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of ignoring a court order to stop racial profiling, and who enjoyed humiliating the prisoners in his jails by issuing them pink underwear to wear underneath their jumpsuits was pardoned by Trump in a unique attempt to undermine the rule of law. Perhaps the Hispanics, not all of whom are illegal aliens as some would have us believe, were offended enough to register and get out to vote for Biden. Trump has has relished sticking his finger in other people's eyes for four years. On November 3rd, 81,283,485 voters stuck it back.


            The Federalist Magazine also points to the Democratic losses in the House to posit Trump's coattails as proof that he won. In 1960, the Democrats lost 22 seats in the House when Kennedy prevailed.


            The voters turned out in the South in 1960 to keep the choice of the president in the hands of the voters and out of the House of Representatives just like they turned out in 2020 to evict Trump from the White House. In 2016, the traditionally Democratic states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin flipped for Trump.   In 2020, the normally Republican states of Georgia, Arizona, and Nebraska's second district went for Biden, ensuring his victory.


Return to Institute of Election Analysis Home Page

Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf