CNN fact-checker calls out 'pure garbage' from Republican Party on Wayne County votes

November 10, 2020, 6:49 PM by  Alan Stamm

Surreal denials come from multiple directions Tuesday:

  • "There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells reporters.

  • "The RNC [Republican National Committee] is pursuing voting irregularities in states like MI and PA," party chair Ronna McDaniel tweets.

  • "This election isn't over yet," a professor writes in a Detroit News guest column. (See our editor's take.)

  • The RNC's spokeswoman posts a 15-tweet thread citing "unusual turnout in Democrat-controlled areas where we have also uncovered serious allegations of fraud," including Wayne County.

That last stretch by national party representative Elizabeth Harrington triggers callouts by journalist Daniel Dale, a widely respected fact-checker at CNN who uses data and common sense to refute "the garbage RNC thread."

Harrington suggests that "President Trump performed about the same in these counties [across the U.S.] as in 2016, yet Joe Biden's totals surged where the counting was paused and Democrats were way behind." Trump drew 29 percent of Wayne County votes four years ago in Wayne County, she notes, and 30 percent last week. The party mouthpiece then switches from percentages to vote numbers and cites "67,630 more ballots" for Biden than for Hillary Clinton in 2016. "That's a 13.0% increase of ballots for Biden over Hillary."

The reason is obvious, or should be: Turnout was higher this time.

"She's noting the 13% increase in Biden votes in this Detroit county, while not noting the 15.3% increase in Trump votes in the same county," Dale of CNN tweets.

An old adage fits: Figures don't lie, but liars do figure.

Related today:

Lengel: A professor suggests Michigan election fraud. The Detroit News should know better.

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