My Proof that Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election



            During the final week of the 2016 presidential campaign, I spent an hour on the phone with my sister, trying to persuade her to vote for Hillary Clinton. She is a doctor, and I heard she was supporting Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. Stein is also a doctor, and, on balance, I preferred her platform to Hillary's.


            "If he wins, you'll be sorry," I said.


            "I know," she replied but was unmoved.


            I wondered why I bothered to spend so much time and effort trying to get my sister to vote for Hillary. She lives in a state that was definitely not going to go for Trump. However, I sometimes do things without knowing the reason why precisely. It only becomes obvious later. It's important to act on instinct sometimes.


            My sister's and my politics are similar. Twenty years before, without prior consultation or discussion, both of us voted for David McReynolds for President rather than for Bill Clinton's re-election. In theory, I am not averse to throwing my vote away to make a point, but in 2016 I thought it was important to stop Trump.


            I knew at least two other progressives who weren't voting for Hillary, but I spent only a few minutes talking to them.


            After the election, when all the votes had been counted, and Trump won, I noticed that the only four states where Jill Stein's vote total exceeded the margin of victory were New Hampshire (which Clinton carried), Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin‒the three states that gave the White House to Trump.




Margin of Victory

Jill Stein (Green)

New Hampshire
















[All data in this article comes from the United States Elections Project at the University of Florida and the 2016 and 2020 Presidential Election Articles on Wikipedia.]


            There were many reasons Clinton lost, but a major one was the reluctance of white, wealthy, politically active, liberal women like my sister to vote for Hillary. The cliche that women don't support each other held true in 2016. Jill Stein was a woman, but, of course, she had no chance of becoming president. Stein's sex did, however, soothe the consciences of the elite women who didn't vote for Hillary. They voted for a woman, after all.


            Both Trump and Clinton were unpopular candidates. The negative tone of the campaign prompted many of the truly undecided or persuadable voters to just stay home or skip the top of the ticket. Turnout in 2008 when Obama won was 62.1% of the voting-eligible population. Turnout eight years later, when Trump defeated Clinton, was down almost 2% to 60.1% of the voting-eligible population.



Two Party  Vote




Total Vote


























            As one can see, the vote for the Republicans and Democrats combined declined in the eight years between 2008 and 2016, while total turnout increased 5,355,417 (4%). Meanwhile, the United States population increased by 19 million (6.2%). The stagnant or declining two-party vote between 2008 and 2016 proves that negative campaigning and obstructionist policies are not popular with the voters.


            Neither Trump nor Clinton was a popular candidate, which is why overall turnout declined in 2016 while votes for third parties and independents soared. Or rather, both were very popular with their committed bases but not popular with the vast undecided or persuadable middle. Those voters would return with a vengeance in 2018 to give the Democrats the House and in 2020 to give them the Senate and the White House.


            Trump won in 2016, but instead of getting the message, accepting the result, and trying to understand what the voters were trying to say, he claimed that he would have won the popular vote, but for the millions of illegal ballots cast for Hillary. Trump was already not accepting the results in 2016 either.


            Trump ran as a builder. Everyone agreed on the need to rebuild America's infrastructure. Trump had Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. Yet, he failed to pass an infrastructure bill. His first priority was to repeal Obamacare (and "replace it with something much, much better.") In this, he failed. He wasted his political capital trying to get rid of a program most people favored. His personal animus toward Obama (and everyone else) blinded him to the mandate he was handed by the voters, which is a major reason he wasn't re-elected. Please note Biden's first priority was passing an infrastructure bill.


Why Trump was Angry


            In 2020, the voters returned to form. The two parties got over 98% of the vote, with the independents getting 1%-2%. The turnout jumped 6.7%, from 60.1% of the voting-age population in 2016 to 66.8% in 2020, the highest in the hundred years since women won the right to vote.


            Trump's partisans claimed that the 21,714,166 (15.8%) vote increase from 2016 to 2020 was impossible and therefore proved that millions of illegal ballots were cast. Given the 26 million increase in voting-eligible population since 2008, had ballots been cast at the same rate as the year Obama won, a turnout of 148,572,500 would be expected. So, where did the additional 10 million come from?


            Basically, they came from the vote-by-mail ballots and the coronavirus lockdowns that kept people home with no excuses for not voting. Trump, whose instincts are better than his logic, attacked mail ballots as fraudulent. He knew they spelled trouble. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, which had been conducting all-mail elections for several years, consistently turned in turnouts about 10% higher than states that voted primarily in the booth. Hawaii and Utah joined the all-mail club in 2020 for the first time, as did New Jersey and most of California on an emergency basis. California and Vermont will go to all-mail elections in 2022.



Highest Increase in Turnout 2020


Percent Increase











New Jersey



About 80% of Arizona's voters choose to vote by mail.


Highest Turnout States in 2020













New Hampshire


New Jersey







            Clearly,  voting by mail increases turnout. But Trump's relentless attack on mail ballots probably backfired by discouraging his supporters from using them.


            Significantly, the second-highest turnout (meaning the highest until 2020) was the 1960 election that put the first Catholic president in the White House.   So, the two highest turnout elections in the past century were the only ones where Catholics were victorious. This is a sign that Catholics probably still feel they are being discriminated against. It also helps to explain the extraordinarily high turnout.


            In effect, Trump was defeated by the Covid pandemic ‒ not just his feckless approach to prevention but by the unprecedented number of vote-by-mail ballots cast in the election. Trump attacked the loosening of absentee ballot requirements, not because he truly thought they would be cast by illegal aliens, but because his fallback position for winning the election was to get the absentee ballots declared invalid by the courts and then be declared the winner on the basis of the machine vote alone. That is how the 1998 Miami Mayoral race was decided. That is also why the Republicans were adamant about putting Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, even though they prevented Obama from filling a vacancy with far more time left in the last year of his term. Trump even said, "The Supreme Court will decide the election." And that's why he wanted Pence to send the electoral vote tallies back to the states, so the Supreme Court would have to get involved. He hoped the Supreme Court could and would steal the election for him as it had for George W. Bush in 2000. Its refusal to do so was a major source of his post-balloting rage.


The Genius of the Electorate


            Elections have an internal consistency across all races. No one is smarter than 158 million people. Trump railed against the presidential results in Georgia. Brilliantly, the voters in Georgia held off deciding which party would control the Senate until they knew who had won the White House.


            In 2020, Georgia had two United States Senate races. Senator Johnny Isakson resigned in December 2019, halfway through his third term due to health reasons. Governor Brian Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to succeed Isakson, requiring a special election at the next General Election in 2020. Georgia's other Senator, Sonny Perdue, was also up for re-election. If a Republican won either race, the Senate would be Republican. If the Democrats won both races, the Senate would be tied with Vice-President Harris casting the deciding vote.


            On election night in November, none of the candidates for Senate got 50%. Georgia has a runoff provision for races where the leader fails to get 50% of the vote. The runoffs were held on January 5, 2021, the day before Congress counts the Electoral Votes and declares a winner for president.


            Between the General Election and the runoffs, Trump, Loeffler, and many others went to court over signatures on absentee ballot applications, on mail-in ballot handling, on the location and use of drop boxes, and challenging the Dominion Voting Machines.


            The result of the runoffs was a repudiation of Trump's claims of fraud. Not only that the Senate was given over to Democratic control, but that by doing so, the voters of Georgia made Trump the first president since Herbert Hoover in 1928, and the fifth in the 164 years since the Civil War, to lose the White House and both houses of Congress in a single term.


            Reassuringly, all five happened the same way. The party in power lost the House in the first mid-term election, and then the Senate along with the re-election bid. James Buchanan in 1860, Benjamin Harrison in 1892, William Howard Taft in 1912, and Herbert Hoover in 1932 were Trump's predecessors.


            The high turnout and the results of Trump's losing bid for re-election are firmly grounded in historical precedent. Such broad-based historical results are not the result of cheating by election administrators. There is no doubt that the 158 million voters intended to and did, put Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in the White House.


            And now, for the bad news. Three of the four previous elections where the incumbent lost the House, Senate, and White House in a single term were followed by catastrophes. Buchanan preceded the Civil War, Taft ‒ World War I and Hoover, the Great Depression.


            Benjamin Harrison's term provides a glimmer of hope because, like Trump's, his was a popular-vote deficit fluke election that merely delayed Grover Cleveland's second term by four years. Biden has been running for president his whole life. He even contemplated challenging Hillary for the nomination in 2016, but the death of his son Beau from a glioblastoma brain tumor in May 2015 took the wind out of his sails.


            Just as Benjamin Harrison's freak election delayed Grover Cleveland's second term by four years, perhaps Donald Trump's election just delayed Vice-President Joe Biden's presidency by four years. One can only hope.


Trump's Tragedy


            Millions of people dream of becoming President of the United States, and thousands devote their entire life to achieving that aim. Only 46 have succeeded, and Donald Trump was lucky enough to be one of them. The problem is that although he was a genius at getting elected, he was clueless about how to do the job.


            The reason is that Trump has a serious learning disability. He has difficulty focusing on any subject for an extended period of time, has little interest in the details of policy, and once persuaded of something, is unable to change his mind.


            My mother had the same learning disability. Like Trump, she was also born with a silver spoon. And while I love my mother, her disability made her a terrible parent. All decisions about her children were first and foremost about her. Once she got an idea, there was no way to get her to change her mind. For example, my wife is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. My mother, who barely graduated from the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan and never attended college, assumed at first blush that Holyoke was a Catholic school because my wife is Catholic. For the thirty-eight years she knew her daughter-in-law, the fact that Holyoke was a secular school never penetrated or altered her opinion.


            From personal experience, I know that people with serious learning disabilities make terrible guardians. They are especially damaging when they have inherited wealth because their money empowers ignorance and egocentrism. Most people with learning disabilities have difficulty in life and know they have a problem. Those with inherited wealth, like my mother and Trump, are spared this self-knowledge because of the money they were given. Their obvious successes in one area blind them to their faults and weaknesses. All defects and deficiencies are blamed on someone else. Everything they think is true.


            The tragedy for Trump and my mother is that their illness makes them incapable of learning from their own mistakes, which makes them very dangerous and damaging people. That is why I feel sorry for Trump. He was given plenty of good advice but couldn't take it- not wouldn't, couldn't. Consequently, he has done, is continuing, and will continue to do tremendous damage to the country. He is not going to change.


            On a personal level, while I'm sorry he was elected, I'm grateful for the objective correlative of his presidency that I can use to explain my mother  to my friends, namely, how money, far from being an asset, can be a handicap when wielded by mentally ill people with learning disabilities.


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