The candidate who curiously outperformed the flagship counties? Asset.

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It is by definition true that any claim by former President Donald Trump about a suspicious vote in the 2020 election is dubious. This is partly because there is no credible evidence that suspicious ballots were cast in this race. It’s also partly because Trump’s most self-serving claims should always be viewed with skepticism.

So when Trump produced a lengthy document last week purporting to present evidence of fraudulent or questionable voting in this contest, one could be forgiven for treating it as unserious. It was mostly a rehash of things that had been tried many times before, things that Trump was treating as unresolved not because they were unresolved but because he didn’t like the resolution. It included a number of things you’ve probably heard of, from suspicious voting machines to “2000 mule” nonsense.

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I bring this up now because of a new article by Michael Anton of Compact, titled “The Regime’s Failing Jan. 6 Lie”. In case it’s not obvious from the title, the emphasis is on the idea that the Capitol riot investigation is well-founded and appropriately scoped.

As part of his argument, Anton echoes Trump. In short: maybe the riot happened because some super suspicious things happened! For instance:

“How plausible is it really that Joe Biden got 10 million more votes than Barack Obama? That Trump became the first incumbent since the 19th century to win votes (8.4 million) and lose his re-election bid? The first to win all of the flagship states and 18 of the 19 flagship counties and still lose? The first to win seats in the Chamber (14) and lose again? The first to see his primary vote exceed 75% (he got 94%) and still lose?

“To all these questions and many more questions and doubts, the ruling class has only one answer: shut up, white supremacist.”

Well, I don’t think I can speak for the ruling class, but I can offer a more satisfactory answer to these questions and doubts: all of them have been answered, many times, in a completely satisfactory way.

How did Trump win votes? Because participation was low in 2016, a competition between two unpopular candidates. How did Joe Biden outperform Barack Obama in 2008? Partly because the population grew by almost 10% and partly because Trump instigated millions to vote against him. How did Trump do so well in the primaries? Because his party has often locked out other candidates. How did Republicans win seats even as Trump lost? Because a lot of people just voted against Trump and not other Democrats — and a lot of Republicans voted for Republican House candidates but not Trump.

None of this is so confusing once you remember that Trump was a deeply polarizing president, on his own initiative.

But now we come to the most ridiculous – and one of the oldest – alleged examples of Trump theft in 2020, this claim about “flagship counties”. Trump included it in his recent 12-page document: “Eighteen of the 19 counties that consistently vote for the winning candidate voted for me, but are we supposed to believe Joe Biden won the election?

Yes, we are, because this metric is incredibly stupid.

What we’re talking about here are 19 counties in a number of states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin – that since 1980 have voted with the ultimate winner of the election every time. In 2020, however, they mostly voted for Trump, despite Trump’s defeat. The only exception, circled below, was Clallam County, Wash.

You will notice, however, that this is quite arbitrary. Why since 1980? What is the significance of this particular period of 10 elections? Why are these counties supposed to matter beyond the fact that they fit this model?

But that’s a bit beside the point. Rather, the fact is that while it’s suspicious that these counties don’t match the election results, the contest we should be worried about isn’t 2020. It’s 2016 — the election that brought Trump to power.

After all, in this election (and, of course, in 2000), more voters preferred the Democrat to the Republican. That these “flagship” counties voted for the candidate who won solely due to the vagaries of the Electoral College does not seem particularly significant in this light. It’s a stroke of luck.

If we ignore this definition of “indicator” in favor of reviewing counties that have consistently voted with the popular vote in every election since 1980, we see that there were six jurisdictions that met this definition. In each, Biden won in 2020. The indicators held.

We could also simply update our list of featured counties to reflect the new results. There are three counties that have voted with the ultimate winner for each of the last 10 elections, including Clallam County. The others are Winnebago County, Illinois, and Pike County, Mississippi. If those three counties end up voting against the winner of the 2024 election, that doesn’t mean that winner somehow cheated. This means, on the contrary, that the constitution of the term “indicator” had changed again.

Again, this is all trivial to determine. These are not mysteries that the elites demand go unanswered because they are too frightening. These are childish assertions offered by inquisitive people, by people who are more interested in appearing to be bold truth-tellers than in actually telling the truth.


Washington

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