Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Do the Election Results "Smell Funny"?

I've had people ask me in messages about the election numbers, and I see various posts getting shared about how the election results "smell wrong".  The example that I share here is just one that I happened to take a few minutes to argue against today, but I've seen many similar claims.

The problem with all of the analyses that I've seen has been that they're selective in the numbers they show and the context in order to make them sound bad when full context removes any "wrong smell".

In that linked article I think that Horowitz intentionally selects which of his numbers to talk about in such a way as to make his case sound more probable when it just isn't. For instance, he says:

"We see that Trump's share of the vote grew modestly, as we would expect with him generally performing better among black voters than four years ago. But Biden's growth is unfathomable. The entire county grew by roughly 50,000 people (4.8%), but Biden managed to expand the Democrat vote share by 98,000 (35%)."

The statistic he fails to quote is that Trump's number of votes increased by 24% or 26,000 votes from 2016 to 2020. If the Atlanta vote was being controlled by Democratic-run fraud, does it make any sense that they would manufacture a 24% increase in Donald Trump's votes in an urban area where he's generally unpopular?

He also says:

"It just seems that Biden achieved nearly impossible turnout levels just in the areas of the four or so states that he needed to do so. It's very hard to see how just in these places, he crushed Obama's turnout numbers that seem nearly impossible as a share of the population"

Well, in Fulton County which he's talking about, in 2008 44% of the county voted. In 2020 49% of the county voted. Is it really shocking? Yes, in 2016 and 2012 it was 40%, but 49% is hardly a crazy number.

But Horowitz says it's totally unbelievable that the number of votes cast in Fulton county increased 28% from 2016 to 2020. I went and looked up the increase in total votes cast for the top three deep red counties in Georgia:

Cherokee 31% increase

Forsyth 33% increase

Hall 29% increase

So I really don't think we can say that the 28% increase in Fulton is impossible.

Further, when I go look up the populations of those three Trump counties, I find that in Cherokee 56% of the population cast votes, in Forsyth 58% cast votes, and in Hall 44% cast votes. That seems to suggest that the 49% voting rate of Fulton is by no means impossible.

(A good tool for looking at county level results and comparing to 2020 votes to 2016 votes is the map-based visualization here.  I also did a bunch of googling for county populations and such.)

Remember, the Dems and elite establishment went into this election thinking that Trump (whose approval ratings have always been below 50%) would be routed at a historic level.  Trump did significantly better than expected.  Down ballot Republicans did even better.  If there was rampant fraud across multiple states manipulating vote totals, does it make any sense that the fraudsters would have not bothered to win some more close Senate races and would have given Trump an increase in Black and Hispanic support which no one expected?

This was a historically high turnout election.  The Democrats worked very hard to get people to vote, yet at the same time ended up inspiring almost as many people to vote against them.  Trump lost by small but not tiny margins in multiple key states.  The votes have been counted.  The election is over.  Trump lost.  

Now people need to stop wasting energy on wishing that it hadn't gone that way and forwarding around pieces which (though shared in good faith) are often being created by people who are knowing lying.  We have elections in Georgia to win to keep the Senate.  We have a post-Trump strategy to figure out for the GOP.  But people should stop it with the "wait till the votes are counted" line.  They've been counted.  They're not fraudulent.  There are not huge, unbelievable increases in Biden support that suggest tens of thousands of fake ballots swung the election.  In big cities which are Democratic strongholds Biden did within a couple percent of how he did last time, sometimes a bit better, sometimes a bit worse, but there just aren't crazy outlier numbers. 

Biden won.

Conservative media need to stop feeding this stupidity.  It's easy to cherry pick some numbers and present them in a way that makes people feel like they sound off.  But this has progressed to the point where it's lies and wishful thinking.  Conservative writers must stop writing this stuff.  (The president must stop as well -- but it's been clear for years that no one can get Trump to stop anything.)  It's not doing anyone any good at this point, and it's needlessly hurting people's faith in our republic which, for all its faults, does in fact hold elections which are free and fair.


cliff & kay & munchkins said...

So,what is your take on Dominion and the late night, early morning hours Biden take-over?

Darwin said...


That's a fair question. I'll do a post on the whole Dominion thing within the next day or two, since I'm fired up and writing for a change.

Paul Zummo said...

The aggravating thing is I suspect a fair number of people in the right-wing media propagating the myth know it's a lie and yet they're too heavily invested in the gravy train.