The Trumps continue to push their nonsensical claims that widespread fraud plagued the recent presidential election, but so-called evidence for these claims ranges from flimsy conjecture to unequivocal outright lies. On Twitter this Monday, Eric Trump — the president’s adult son, who has helped lead the family business during his father’s presidency — pointed to the discrepancy between the numbers of counties where Biden won this year and where Obama won in 2012. Eric suggested that Biden’s lower county total but higher overall vote count automatically suggests fraud… but he failed to acknowledge the fact that empty land, like that in rural counties where Obama did well, doesn’t vote. People — including people who live in big cities! — vote.
Among other differences, Obama did well in Iowa in both 2008 and 2012, but this time around, Donald Trump won the state. None of these fluctuations in election outcomes automatically suggest fraud. Eric posted the following message:
‘Biden lost 212 more counties than Obama did in 2012 (Biden won 477 counties vs Obama who won 689), yet Biden magically gained 13 million more votes than Obama… please… #RiggedElection’
Biden lost 212 more counties than Obama did in 2012 (Biden won 477 counties vs Obama who won 689), yet Biden magically gained 13 million more votes than Obama… please… #RiggedElection
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) November 30, 2020
Did Eric even try to comprehensively understand what he was talking about before posting this message, or did he just rush to post a “gotcha!” zinger on Twitter without considering the implications of his remarks? In both 2008 and 2012, Obama won more electoral votes than Biden won this time around, but the American population has consistently grown over the years, including in big cities, where Biden (like other Democrats) did well. Although Biden won fewer states, the number of voters participating in the election grew significantly, and Trump himself got more votes than Obama did in 2012. Concurrently, Donald Trump has a documented strength in rural and often sparsely populated counties, adding to his county total without overwhelmingly adding to his actual vote total. These concepts aren’t complicated, but Eric has tried to transform simple math into evidence of a vast conspiracy. It’s not.
As a recent article in The Washington Post summarized, the Trump team’s claims have included the idea that “Democratic leaders rigged the vote in a number of majority-Black cities, and that voting machines were tampered with by communist forces in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan leader who died seven years ago.” These conspiratorial claims are unhinged.
Check out Twitter’s response to Eric below: