Do You Believe Your Baby or Your Lying Eyes?

The rise and fall of the 'Stop the Steal' Facebook group | World News,The  Indian Express

Trump’s popularity is difficult thing for progressives to understand. More than 74 million Americans voted for the businessman from Queens 2020. In 2016, the popular vote winner, Hillary Clinton, won by 8.4 million fewer votes than Trump’s 2020 ballot total. In 2012, the popular vote winner, Barack Obama, won by 8.3 million fewer votes than Trump’s 2020 ballot total. Trump’s rallies were massive. Rallies protesting the 2020 election outcome have been massive.

How could Trump be so popular when everybody knows he is the obnoxious kid nobody likes who won’t leave the party? The mainstream pollsters told us that Americans harbor a deep dislike for Trump. No, they loathe him. He’s an ugly orange thing that should just go away.

Biden’s popularity is likewise difficult for Trump supporters to understand. More than 81 million Americans voted for Biden in 2020. That’s 15.4 million more votes that Clinton won just four years ago. Biden won 15.35 million more than Obama won in 2012. How is that he won 7 million more votes than Trump in 2020? Unlike in the case of Trump’s popularity, Trump supporters have reason to be incredulous. Biden drew very small crowds. He barely campaigned at all. He was routinely incoherent in public appearances. His commercials were awful if plentiful.

Now there is a poll out by Gallup finding that the most admired man in America is Trump. His appearance at the top of the poll breaks Obama’s 12-year streak of winning this poll. What’s more, Trump is tied with Dwight Eisenhower for degree of admiration. According to Gallup, “When the sitting president is not the top choice, it is usually because he is unpopular politically.” Is it not also true that if he is the top choice, he is popular politically? The same poll found only 6 percent of Americans identified Biden was the most admired man. Biden only made the top ten once before. Trump has made the top ten 10 times. 

When Trump won the 2016 election just shy of 63 million votes, progressives were shocked. It made no sense. But doesn’t it make sense? People wanted restrictions on immigration, action on jobs and trade, economic nationalism, an end to regime change wars. They wanted to be proud to be an American again. They wanted to make America great again. So, they put Trump in office. He took action on all those fronts, so they reelected him, giving him 11.2 million more votes in 2020 than they gave him in 2016. Turn out for Trump was truly historic. We could see it with our own eyes.

It rightly strikes people as implausible that Biden could receive 15 million more votes for president than Clinton and Obama. The counter to popular incredulity is population growth. The argument comes with a trick, namely starting from 2008 when the US population was 304 million and then claiming that the present population of 331 million accounts for the difference. That’s a 27-million-person difference!

But there’s a problem. The difference in the total vote encompassing the two major party candidates in this same period was 25.5 million. Keeping in mind that population growth comes from immigrants and babies, who cannot vote (at least they’re not supposed to), holding voter participation constant, population growth cannot explain the difference. Growth in population cannot generate enough eligible voters. In fact, the growth in eligible voters in this period is 9.3 million.

Okay, so what about voter turn out? Voter turnout has been consistently less than 60 percent since 1968. Where did Biden’s 15 million more votes than Obama the rock star come from? And remember, Trump took more votes than Obama and Clinton in 2020 at the polls.

The trick doesn’t work. But setting the comparison period to 2016 proves how ludicrous Biden’s win becomes. The US population in the United States grew by 8 million persons between 2016 and 2020. The difference between Clinton’s vote total in 2016 and Biden’s in 2020 is more than 15 million. How do we get from an 8-million-person growth in overall population, with only a proportion of those representing new voters, to a 15 million vote gap? We can’t. Moreover, we have Trump’s popularity in the way. Something’s wrong. 

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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