In 2016, the biggest shock of all was Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania. While I had Pennsylvania going to Trump on my final map, I felt that Pennsylvania was potentially the biggest reach for Trump. In reality, it was 3rd on that list, behind Michigan and Wisconsin, with Trump winning the state by approximately 45,000 votes. Since then, Republicans have ended up with a 198,000 voter registration advantage since 2016, with the state adding 150,000 Republicans and losing 48,000 Democrats. If anything, Republicans and Trump were set for a better year in Pennsylvania than 2016.
2020 was a very good year for Trump in the state. Trump did anywhere between 3% and 20% better than he did in 2016, in every county in the state. In Philadelphia County, Trump scored an insane 17.99% bump over 2016, where Biden underperformed Clinton by 1.38%. In fact, Biden underperformed Obama’s 2012 performance in the state in 35 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Of the remaining 32 counties, Biden overperformed Obama by single digits in 9 of those counties.
In 57 of 67 counties in the state, Trump’s growth over 2012 outpaced that of Biden’s from anywhere between 0.56% to 76.27%, That’s not a number by which Trump beat Biden but the spread by which Trump supporters turned out at a higher rate than Biden supporters. Now, remember, all of Trump’s growth follows the trend and doesn’t end up jumping anywhere by a significant amount. Biden, on the other hand, has numerous counties where significant deviations from the trend occur. To be honest, Trump’s 76.27% spread factors for an 18% underperformance by Biden and a 58% overperformance (over 12) for Trump, which to me would be alarming, if the 58% overperformance didn’t match the trend in the increase over 12 for Trump.
Of the 10 remaining counties where Biden’s increased turnout over 2012 beat Trump’s, 4 counties stand out from the data. In the top 7 Counties for Biden, three of them match statistically in increases. Allegheny County, Delaware County, and Center County, all show Biden rising above Obama’s 2012 turnout by 17 points AND beating Trump’s increase in turnout by 10-13 points. Again, when data points indicate a trend in performance, you can reliably say that things appear normal. However, in the remaining four counties, Biden’s performance jumps off the scales. Additionally, the statewide turnout average for 2016 was 70.1%. In these counties, All beat that average.
In Lancaster (don’t you dare say Lan-Caster. It is Lay-nk-aster) County, Biden overperformed Obama’s 2012 showing by 29.95%, and Biden jumped Trump’s turnout increase by 7.33%. Turnout for the county was 77.58% a county high for the last 3 cycles. Lancaster County went to Trump still by 18 points as Trump’s increase still factored for more Republicans, however as discussed in previous pieces, most of the questionable actions took place in counties Trump won in other states. Lancaster doesn’t deviate from that precedent.
In Cumberland County, Biden beat Obama’s 2012 turnout by 37.87%. While Biden did well in some neighboring counties, in deep-blue Dauphin County, Biden only overperformed Obama by 19.14%. That would mean there was an 18% increase over county lines, already above a nearly 20% increase over Obama’s 2012 performance? Additionally, Biden beat Trump’s increase by nearly 20%, 7 points higher than the next highest County which is deep-blue Allegheny. Cumberland still went to Trump following the trend of Dems blowing up votes in red counties to allow for metros to carry the state. In Cumberland County, turnout wasn’t higher than expected necessarily, but still a high over 3 elections cycles at 73.3%.
In Montgomery County, just outside of Philidelphia, Biden beat Obama’s 2012 performance by 34.36% or more than a 36 point spread over the count in Philadelphia County to the south. Montgomery County beat the next closest neighboring county (Bucks at 24%) by more than 10 points. More importantly, Trump beat Biden’s increase by 35 points in Philadelphia County, wherein Montgomery County Biden beat Trump’s increase by 29.47%, a nearly 60 point swing. In surrounding counties, Biden maxes out his increase-advantage over Trump at just 12 points better. In full disclosure, this could mean that Trump’s support was so small previously that any increase would be a larger percentage than any increase Biden had, but again, the left would have to argue that Biden was more popular than Obama. In the county, turnout was 81.50%, 6.22% higher than in 2016, and 6.64% higher than in 2012. For comparison, Philadelphia County was 1.82% below the 2016 turnout.
Lastly, in neighboring Chester County, Biden scored a massive 44.29% increase over Obama’s 2012 performance. Again, while neighboring counties showed an improvement over 2012 for Biden, this increase beats Lancaster (which I have already highlighted as statistically improbable) by more than 14 points. While that number alone is a shocker, Biden beat Trump’s increase in the county by 42.5%, a rise over the next highest county by 13 points. Chester also shot up above 80% turnout, to 80.58%, a 4.74% improvement over 2016, and a 5.16% improvement over 2020. Again, that is four statistical improbabilities in one county.
Again, it isn’t hard to believe really that Biden does better than Trump in some of these counties. The issue arises from the margin by which he does. The above-mentioned counties cross that line between reasonable and likely improvements in performance into statistically questionable territory. Again, as I have said throughout all my pieces, this isn’t proof of fraud nor should it be used as such. What it is though, is indicative of what someone might do if they were looking for fraud or election tampering. We are talking about an increase for Dems in just these counties by 133,111 votes or about 3 times the margin by which Biden currently leads the state. One or two outliers in a few random counties I can buy. Several in just one county? I call BS.
This article is from a series about the 2020 election results. Here are the other articles in the series: