Five head-scratching election results

17 November 2020

6:01 AM

17 November 2020

6:01 AM

The 2020 election has already kicked up myriad allegations of fraud. From dead people voting in key states to late Biden ballots magically showing up, recounts and the courts will determine fact from fiction. Along with those issues, there were other five outcomes that should cause reasonable people to scratch their heads.

First, Colorado. Just a few years ago, Colorado was considered a purple battleground state. Donald Trump even vocalized a belief he could win there in 2020. But this month’s results should end Republican dreams of winning statewide top-of-the-tickets races in Colorado for the foreseeable future. As a former Coloradan who ran a congressional campaign and served as a deputy on Sen. Wayne Allard’s reelection in 2002, I was shocked to see that Colorado gave Joe Biden a bigger win than rock-solid blue New York.

Specifically, while New York gave Biden a 12.7 percent victory, Colorado went for Biden by a whopping 13.2 percent. Those liberal Californians with their huge home equities didn’t just drive property prices up over the last 20 years — they drove Colorado far left. The reality is George W. Bush’s win in 2004 is the last time a Republican presidential, senatorial, or gubernatorial candidate has won in Colorado except outgoing Cory Gardner’s razor thin 39,000-vote win in 2014. For those keeping score, that means Republicans have won two out of 21 statewide top-of-the-ticket races since 2004. Maybe it’s the Rocky Mountain high obtained after pot was legalized in 2012, but few expected such a lop-sided win for Biden.

Next, Muslims. If I would have asked you before the election what percentage of the Muslim American vote Trump would get in 2020, you likely would have told me somewhere in the low teens. After all, according to the biased media, his travel ban was a ‘Muslim’ travel ban and he repeatedly snubbed the Palestinian cause to support Israel. Yet, according to exit polls, Trump not only shocked the system by securing 35 percent of the Muslim American vote, but shocked the system a second time when his Muslim support outpaced the support he received from Jewish Americans by 5 percent. Given his staunch support of Israel evidenced by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, the multiple peace deals he brokered with Arab countries, and his unwavering support of Israel at the United Nations, one would have thought Jewish Americans would have supported Trump more strongly — at least more strongly than Muslim Americans.

Then there is Michigan’s fairly significant swing from a 0.3 percent win in 2016 for Trump to a 2.7 percent win for Biden in 2020. Biden’s 146,000-vote victory in Michigan is quite the shift, especially when no similar movement occurred in neighboring states. After all, given the similarities and proximities among the Midwestern states, you might expect a big change in one state would show up in the other states. Instead, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all either saw slight shifts towards Biden or greater shifts towards Trump. Heck, Trump even gained over 200,000 votes in dark-blue Illinois. Other than Jim Harbaugh’s losing record against Ohio State, why did Michigan vote so differently than its neighbors?

Then there is the Minnesota battleground fight that didn’t happen. Remember, Trump only lost Minnesota in 2016 by around 45,000 votes to Hillary Clinton. With the massive rioting in the Twin Cities that devastated the urban communities after George Floyd’s death, the conventional wisdom was that Trump had a solid shot at flipping Minnesota with his law-and-order message. That flip became a flop, though, as Biden stormed to a 7.2 percent win backed by a 232,000-vote margin.

Finally, like Michigan, both Arizona and Georgia served as outliers to their neighboring states. As Arizona went from a solid Trump win in 2016 to a knife’s edge Biden win in 2020, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah largely mirrored their 2016 results. Similarly, as Trump’s 211,000-vote margin in 2016 in Georgia evaporated to a 14,000-vote Biden win in 2020, its neighbors in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee maintained their strong support for Trump, with Trump winning battleground Florida by three times the margin he won that state in 2016. What happened in Arizona and Georgia that failed to materialize in a single surrounding state?

When the dust finally settles on the 2020 election, we will know what role fraud played in the results. Based on history, there likely was fraud, but not enough to change the results nor explain the five outcomes above. Given the continued polarization in America, the GOP should consider this shifts in all its election post-mortems.

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