How Trump Lost Michigan

Four years ago, I wrote a long analysis of How Trump won Michigan.  The key points of that analysis are

  • Trump did much better than other republicans in rural and downscale (working class/union) areas like Downriver, Macomb, suburban Genesee, and the northeastern Lower Peninsula.
  • Trump did poorly in upscale (highly educated) suburbs in Oakland, Kent, and Kalamazoo counties.
  • Turnout in Detroit was relatively poor, providing democrats with a relatively small absolute margin there.

Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan in 2016 was 10,704 votes.  At the moment, the unofficial totals show Joe Biden with 2,804,039 votes and Trump with 2,649,852 votes.  Biden’s margin over Trump is 154,187 votes.  This analysis will consider county vote totals to determine where this shift occurred, and whether there is any reason to be suspicious of the official totals.

County Margin Changes

Trump’s performance by county is illustrated in the map below.

Data at the SOS website is broken down by county.  Subtracting 2016 and 2020 margins, we find the biggest (approximate) changes in margin in the following counties.

-54200 Oakland
-32500 Wayne
-30900 Kent
-23000 Washtenaw
-11300 Ingham
-10700 Kalamazoo
  -9400 Macomb
  -7300 Ottawa
  -4600 Grand Traverse

The totals are broadly consistent with the results of the last two elections.  Counties with many white leftists, particularly those featuring large universities (Washtenaw, Ingham, Kalamazoo) saw large increases in D turnout.  Upscale suburbs continued to trend away from Trump.  This is particularly the case in Dutch Reformed Christian areas (Kent, Ottawa), which voted for Ted Cruz in the 2016 primary.

Trump also improved his margin in many smaller counties.  The largest gains were about 3300 each in Monroe and St. Clair, and 3100 in Montcalm.

Local Voter Fraud?

Of course, this is taking the unofficial vote totals for granted.  Since election day, there have been many claims of fraud, and allegations that the election was stolen.  Specific allegations include that late-arriving absentee ballots were back-dated so that they could be counted, and that some poll workers encouraged voters to support Biden.  These allegations are plausible (though unproven) and deserve further investigation.

We should be careful to distinguish between voter fraud that happens a few votes at a time, and mass voter fraud (adding, deleting, or changing thousands of votes at a time).  Only the latter could have swung the election by a large enough margin to give the state to Biden.

Allegations of fraud have centered around the city of Detroit and the counting of absentee ballots at the TCF Center (formerly Cobo Center).  This is understandable, given Detroit’s long history of incompetence (or worse) at running elections.  To get a handle on what happened in Detroit, consider the raw totals and percentages for GOP and D candidates for the past six elections.

Year – GOP (percent) and Dem (percent):
2000 – 15688 (5.22%), 282111 (93.88%)
2004 – 19343 (5.93%), 305258 (93.65%)
2008 –   8888 (2.65%), 325534 (96.99%)
2012 –   6018 (2.09%), 281743 (97.63%)
2016 –   7682 (3.11%), 234871 (94.95%)
2020 – 12654 (5.08%), 233908 (94.00%)

Note that Trump got 5000 MORE votes than he got four years ago, consistent with a modest improvement with black voters nationwide.  Biden got 1000 FEWER votes than Hillary did in 2016.  The data provide no evidence to support mass voter fraud in Detroit.

How then did Biden gain 32000 votes in Wayne County versus 2016?  Trump lost ground in the upscale suburbs of western Wayne County.  For example, Trump’s margin declined in the following jurisdictions.

-7500 Canton Township
-5200 Livonia
-2000 Northville Township
-1800 Plymouth Township

Similar patterns occurred elsewhere in the state.  In Kent County, Trump lost 13000 votes in Grand Rapids, and lost the suburbs of Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Grand Rapids Township.

Trump’s biggest relative declines from his 2016 percentages were in West Michigan, Oakland, and Washtenaw.  Trump’s biggest relative increases from his 2016 percentages were in the northern lower peninsula and Wayne County.

Dominion Voting Systems

If fraud in one or two jurisdictions cannot explain the swing to Biden, could fraud have been widely distributed across the state?  Such theories revolve around Dominion Voting Systems, a manufacturer of voting machines and vote counting machines.

On election night, something went wrong with the vote totals in Antrim County in northwest Lower Peninsula.  The reported totals showed Joe Biden handily winning the county, and many people (including me) immediately realized that this could not be correct.  The county clerk retracted the results and ordered a recount, which produced a reasonable result.  (Trump’s margin declined by 233 votes compared to 2016.)

It still isn’t clear what happened in Antrim County.  The clerk blamed a software error.  The Secretary of State blamed human error (i.e., the clerk).  If Dominion software produced a false result in Antrim, could it have done so elsewhere?

In theory, vote counting software could be programmed to flip a small fraction of votes from one candidate to another, so that the fraud would be difficult to detect.  Some commentators have claimed that Dominion did this.  This cannot be what happened in Antrim, as the results there were absurd, and quickly corrected.  Did Dominion flip votes in other counties?  Dominion machines are used in 65 Michigan counties, and the others are split between two other vendors.  The state of Michigan helpfully maps the vendors by county on a website.  I broke down the presidential vote totals by counties that use Dominion machines and those that don’t.

In 2020, the totals in counties that use Dominion machines are
Trump 1410197, Biden 1459230 (49.1% Trump two-party)
In 2016, the totals in the same counties were
Trump 1237598, Clinton 1335566 (48.1% Trump two-party)
In 2020, the totals in counties that don’t use Dominion machines are
Trump 1209676, Biden 1212807 (49.9% Trump two-party)
In 2016, the totals in the same counties were
Trump 1069867, Clinton 1056032 (50.3% Trump two-party)

Thus Trump actually improved from 2016 in counties that use Dominion machines and declined in counties that don’t use Dominion machines.  The data provide no evidence to support the theory that Dominion machines flipped votes from Trump to Biden.  Indeed, some of the counties where Trump declined the most (Oakland, Macomb, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Grand Traverse, Livingston) don’t use Dominion machines.

Of course, a conspiracy theorist could double down and claim that all three vendor’s machines were compromised, not just Dominion.  There is a simple way to test this theory.  Remember that Michigan doesn’t have voting machines, it has vote counting machines.  There are paper ballots that can be recounted when desired, as was done in Antrim County.  As far as I know, the Trump campaign has not requested a recount in Michigan.

Comparison to US Senate Results

Another argument casting doubt on the validity of the election results concerns the results in the US Senate race.  The unofficial vote totals give Gary Peters 2,734,559 votes, and John James 2,642,221 votes, a margin of 92,338.  The distribution of votes across the state is similar to the Presidential race, but the relative differences are noteworthy.


Some observers have noticed the vote totals for Trump and James were quite close (only 7631 apart), while the vote totals for Biden and Peters were about 70000 apart.  Indeed, there were about 58000 more votes case in the presidential race than the senate race.  This has lead some to claim that 70000 ballots were cast only for Biden, and that this is proof of voter fraud.

There are several problems with this theory.

1. There is no proof that dropoff is due to votes only for Biden.  Voters could have skipped the senate race but voted in other races downballot.
2. There is nothing unusual about dropoff.  In 2012 (the last year before 2020 with both presidential and senate elections), there were 78043 more votes for president than for senate.  In 2008, there was a dropoff of 153156 between these races.  There is typically more dropoff further downballot, as some uninformed voters choose not to vote in races when they are unfamiliar with the candidates.
3. Someone committing mass fraud would presumably want Ds to win downballot, and they could just as easily vote straight ticket D to do this.
4. There was essentially no dropoff in Detroit (note that 77% of votes in Detroit were straight ticket D).

5. Trump and James did better in different regions of the state.  The map below uses Orange for Trump performing better than James, and blue for James performing better.

Trump performed better in downscale areas, while James performed better in traditional GOP areas in West Michigan.  Note that James won Kent, Muskegon, and Leelanau Counties, which Trump lost.  James got 11000 more votes than Trump in Kent County and 8700 more in Oakland, while Trump got 12000 more votes than James in Macomb County.  James did essentially the same as Trump in Detroit, gaining only 80 more votes there.


There is nothing in the data to indicate mass voter fraud in Michigan of the size that would have to exist to change the result of the Presidential election.  More than 150,000 fraudulent votes should be noticeable in the raw election results, but they are not there.  If there is any doubt about the reliability of the vote counting machines, a manual recount would resolve it.

You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(6)

  22 comments for “How Trump Lost Michigan

  1. KG One
    November 19, 2020 at 5:00 am

    This was an informative read.

    Obviously, not the results I was hoping for (for obvious reasons), but good work nonetheless.

    If only the SoS was asked to investigate the "irregularities" within Wayne County?

    Oh wait, she already was!

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Conservative First
      November 19, 2020 at 6:35 pm

      Thanks. It looks like the problems in Detroit were mostly incompetence, not malice. If only we could get an emergency manager for the Detroit city clerk's office...

      You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(1)
      • KG One
        November 20, 2020 at 8:07 am

        That is exactly what passes for the media would want you to believe. Regrettably, this has been allowed to continue in Detroit for decades, from people who should know better.

        I don't know if you had the opportunity to catch Mr. Giuliani's press conference yesterday, but if you ever get the opportunity (besides watching the entire is on the long side), go through just some of the 220-ish affidavits from Michigan alone he was referencing yesterday.

        Those were sworn AND notarized legal documents.

        Despite the Michigan media going into overdrive to spin and debunk what is contained within them, those outlets all gloss over the fact many of the affiants are people with training and experience in Michigan Elections (one of those affidavits came from former Michigan Sec. of State Ruth Johnson herself).

        Detroit doesn't need another EM, it's needs to see everyone involved in this blatant and brazen theft led away very publicly in handcuffs.

        You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  2. Albert Moore
    November 19, 2020 at 5:13 am

    I would not expect to detect fraud pattern in the data. That makes it too easy to detect. The type of fraud I can imagine would use regular processing and explainable results. How do you know a mail-in ballot was cast by the registered voter?

    How many ballots were printed, mailed out returned, and are currently leftover?

    How many provisional ballots were cast where the voter had been told records showed they already voted?

    These are all symptoms of mass mail-in fraud. Yet, your analysis does not answer these questions. In fact, I cannot get any of this information. I’m not saying fraud happened. I am saying our election system lacks the transparency and process checks and balances for this bean county to trust.

    You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Conservative First
      November 19, 2020 at 6:32 pm

      Some absentee ballot fraud may have happened, but I don't see how it could have happened in the numbers needed to change the result. There were probably a few people who got an application for someone who used to live in their house, filled it out, and sent in an extra ballot. But if this happened tens of thousands of times, people would notice. The state has a list of everyone who voted (or at least the names they gave), so if there were thousands of dead people, fictional people, or duplicates, it shouldn't be hard to determine.

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Albert Moore
        November 19, 2020 at 9:31 pm

        There are ways to rule out my type of scheme. How many ballots were printed? How many were sent out? How many are left over? I am a computer hacker and a bean counter. If the blank ballot reconciliation leaves over 100,000 blank ballots unaccounted for then that would be a clue. If the blank ballots are accounted for then you can likely rule out my scheme. You question assumes "voter" fraud. I am not talking voter fraud. I am talking election fraud. Consider the Democratic primary in Wayne County. How many mail-in ballots were unaccounted for and how did it happen? Given how many ballots in August are missing, I assume the same method could be used.

        Because Michigan is a "Straight Party" or "Split Ticket" voting state, one can complete 100,000 by completing one bubble. So when you look at the AV totals, what do you see? Exactly, 288000 Straight Democrat Party mail-in votes. Also, note that Republican Election Day Straight Party and Mail-in Straight Party are almost 1:1 but Democrat is 1:2. That in itself can be reasonable, but that could be an anomaly of 150,000 votes. There is one way I can think of to rule out my scheme: either answer the bean counter questions or compare signatures in various precincts. That is what I would tend to do.

        I find it interesting that Trump's legal arguments raise the sampling method. However, I would examine the provisional ballots first. By nature any where a person is recorded as voting by mail who submits a provisional ballot is evidence of fraud.

        Finally, you are thinking to "small" scale. I would have to deliver my votes AFTER the mail-in ballots had already had signatures confirmed. Such events are explained away by the experts but are also part of the law suits. Namely, there are claims ballots were brought in early 4:30 am. The fact there is a plausible explanation actually raises a red flag for me. If I am going to commit fraud, I will take advantage of natural processes. I think the delayed/stopping of vote counting also would allow my scheme to be "successful". Again, I am not claiming the fraud took place. I am claiming that I can conceive of how to do it. I would only need a handful of people to carry it out, and natural processes would complete and help cover the scheme. In addition, the data you say is normal, by nature IS NOT NORMAL. Namely, mass mail-in ballots that exceed in person votes has NEVER occurred in MI, GA or PA. There are other anomalies, I could point out.

        You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • Conservative First
          November 22, 2020 at 12:03 am

          For mass voter fraud to occur, it would require the collusion of some of the people running the election, which seems to be what you are suggesting. This has happened in Chicago as recently as the 1980s. But the question is where this could have happened. People are mostly focused on Detroit, but as previously noted, Biden got fewer votes than Hillary. Kent, Ottawa, and Kalamazoo Counties all have Republican clerks who wouldn't be part of this.

          You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
          • Albert Moore
            November 24, 2020 at 6:36 am

            Now that I have the precinct level data. I will take a look at the results. I must admit, your work has helped me tremendously. You are correct that my type of fraud if it occurred would require the following:
            1) obtaining 100,000 blank ballots or the ability to print 100,000 ballots.
            2) a few people to vote Straight Party on the ballots
            3) a method of introducing the fraudulent completed ballots

            If the number of envelops with signatures matches the mail-in votes cast. Then I would need folks in order to complete the sleeves. All this work could be done in advance of the election.

            This can only be done where voter participation is low. That is why I say Wayne County is the ideal county. Keep in mind, I am not saying it happened, I am just saying what my method would be, based upon my understanding of the vulnerabilities of mail-in ballots and my knowledge of the lack of proper checks and balances.

            I find it interesting that the Trump Campaign is looking at the low participation mail-in voter to get their affidavits. So I am thinking the same as other smart people.

            I don't assume Republican clerks are immune but it does make it more difficult or risky. But I would not go anywhere else but Wayne County, Atlanta or Philadelphia. I used to study Black History and am well versed in slave rebellions! The fewer who know the greater the success.

            I think I answered all your questions. One final thought, I assume the parties have access to what I know as "walking papers". Once I identify the likely precincts, I will need that information to identify the low participation voters who voted mail-in in 2020 in those precincts. I would also need to know who requested mail-in ballots in that precinct. That used to be public information.

            You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
            • Conservative First
              November 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm

              I look forward to seeing the results of your analysis.

              You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. Jason
    November 19, 2020 at 9:12 am

    He did not lose Michigan.

    You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Corinthian Scales
      November 19, 2020 at 9:19 am

      Yah, this dude's post... "at least the handle is one of us."

      WhyTF the Doomer is allowed here is beyond reason.

      You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • Conservative First
      November 19, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Do you have an argument to support that claim? I would love to hear how the totals could be changed by over 150000 votes in a way that would be consistent with the results presented in the article.

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(1)
      • susano
        November 20, 2020 at 5:41 am

        What is it that people don't get about computer fraud?


        Most of the time the cheating in the election wasn't as simple as the votes going to one particular candidate. What they did was take votes from Trump and send them to third party or take both from 3rd and give to Biden

        And why in the hell is Dominion using fractional vote counting? Better yet, why was Dominion used in Michigan? I'll tell you why: because these machines are programmed for election fraud and that is the ONLY reason they're used.

        Mykale "Kelly" Garret, worked as Dominion's Project Manager, then worked at Michigan's Democratic Party headquarters as a Deputy Director, and is now Mayor of Lathrup Village, Michigan. SOURCE: NationalPulse

        She helped broker a $25 million contract between Dominion and the state of Michigan while still serving as a vice chair for the Oakland County Democrat Party. SOURCE: BLP

        You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • Conservative First
          November 21, 2020 at 11:37 pm

          Georgia, which also uses Dominion systems, just completed a hand recount. It found several cases of human error, but it did not find any vote-switching. The vote-switching theory has been debunked (in Georgia).
          My analysis above proves that Dominion wasn't switching votes, unless the other two vendors were also switching votes.
          The Trump campaign could ask for a recount in Michigan but has yet to do so.

          You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(2)
          • Albert Moore
            November 24, 2020 at 6:51 am

            I agree 100%. Software fraud is my least ideal method of fraud and is very difficult with even our poor method of checks and balances. However, note what my fellow alum alleges. If you saw the video, he states Wayne County, DID NOT EXHIBIT the vote switching pattern. What that means is that if fraud took place, I repeat "IF", then that makes sense. However, your fine work would indicate which counties I would request a recount in Michigan to detect the vote switching!

            Also, note that I could safely get an additional 100,000 out of Wayne County, but 150,000 would be risky. I do not want to go down the conspiracy path too far. I believe Biden won. I believe Democrats motivated voters to mail-in ballots just a much as Trump motivated voters to go in person. However, I "rule out" or "confirm". I do not "ignore". My physics professor at MIT etched that in all our minds. Now, that I am an actuary, I have added "nor do I assume". Actuarial Science relies upon the assumptions of a model and how such assumptions impact the results and conclusions.

            I wish my fellow Trump supporters would stop the irresponsible rhetoric. Trump will have his day in federal court. Hopefully, he has uncovered something, because he definitely has more information at his disposal but clearly is smarter than me. I would have provided some of the evidence for Wayne County by using the John James campaign. I contend it is a mistake to make the Michigan election about Trump.

            You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Jason
        November 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

        #1. The machines were compromised.

        I used to laugh at the possibility, but have seen enough evidence, including the odd way in which the system responded to Antrim County's mistake on one particular township. It should have simply changed all numbers a little, but instead did a magnification of the straight party content and the algorithm went freak out.

        This is key.

        The algorithm likely swapped a couple hundred thousand votes in particularly GOP heavy areas. The mathematician DR Shiva figures 148K in the three counties he analyzed. The guy is a genius and his work is spot on.

        #2 The arrival of votes at the wee hours of the morning at Cobo. Nothing to see there?

        You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(0)

        • Conservative First
          November 21, 2020 at 11:52 pm

          Is there a credible source supporting the claim of votes being dropped off in the early morning? As far as I can tell, this has been identified as camera equipment. How would someone know what the box contained by looking at the outside?

          You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(2)
          • KG One
            November 22, 2020 at 9:33 am

            The problem with the "It was just one of our photographers/videographers dropping off batteries"-argument, is that the people running to the defense of Wayne County is Channel 7 itself claiming that it was one of their own vans.

            Here are the problems with that argument:

            First, this was an unmarked van. How many media outlets are you aware of who send out their staff out in an unmarked van/vehicle (especially in a major media market)?

            I'm not aware of any. Usually always, you will see the entire vehicle wrapped up logos identifying where they are from. This is important for problem #2.

            Second, who parks an unmarked van and leaves it unattended (and apparently unlocked), on Washington???

            One of the things that Detroit has honed to a fine art (even during its bankruptcy), is their Municipal Parking Department.

            Locating murders and thieves isn't high on the Detroit's priority list.

            Always has Always will be.

            But, when that parking meter expires or you leave your vehicle in an area that is clearly marked no parking, standing, etc., a golf cart with a flashing light on it will pull up so quickly and slap a ticket on your windshield so fast, your head will spin.

            News crews will always leave marked vans parked wherever they like when doing their job, because there is an unwritten rule with bureaucrats not wanting to deal with the headache of a p.o.'d reporter/news station doing an unflattering "investigative report".

            Third, there is a secure area behind Cobo for loading and unloading (i.e. guards and video surveillance) which even the media has access to. Parking on Washington wasn't even necessary.

            Now, getting to the dropping off of votes (and ironically #3)...feel free to read Daniel Gustafson and Zachary Larsen's sworn statement here.

            Judge Kenny knew that he could NOT have given their claims any credibility, for if he had, the locals would use that as an excuse to burn what's left of Detroit to the ground.

            Note that he also didn't pursue perjury charges against them, which was well within his purview.

            That would also open Pandora's Box.

            You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • Jason
        November 20, 2020 at 9:37 am

        Dr. Shiva's analysis

        You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • Conservative First
          November 21, 2020 at 11:16 pm

          Dr. Shiva's analysis contains several serious mathematical errors. See this video for some, but not all, of them.

          You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. Albert Moore
    November 20, 2020 at 4:59 am

    I really like your analysis. Keep in mind I’m responding from my cell phone so auto correct and fat thumb makes this difficult. I am looking for precinct by precinct data because if I am right, I think I can find people who love America who will testify they did not vote even though Wayne Count says they mailed in a ballot. If I cannot find such individuals then there is no fraud and John James lost the senate seat.

    When I campaigned in Cincinnati, OH I received “walking papers” which listed every voter in a precinct. I am thinking only the parties get this information. I have several volunteers willing to contact voters asking why the voter thinks Trump got more votes in Wayne County than James? Also, certain precincts will be easy to identify the voters. I don’t hear anyone discussing the best fraud scheme for mail-in elections. Yet, if it happened, I see all the symptoms. The voters for whom I would have voted are the only proof that is left.

    You Betcha! (0)Nuh Uh.(0)
  5. Corinthian Scales
    November 22, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Hey, Cuckservative First... do the letters "F" "O" mean anything to you?

    Page 9 of 22:

    GEABOD, Doomer.

    You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)

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