Biden won popular, Electoral College votes in several battleground states

President Trump’s legal adviser Rudy Giuliani details lawsuit he says will be filed



The claim: Trump won the 2020 election based on legal votes

a group of people in a room: An observer watches as Luzerne County workers canvas ballots that arrived after closing of voting until Friday at 5pm and postmarked by Nov. 3rd as vote counting in the general election continues, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

© Mary Altaffer, AP
An observer watches as Luzerne County workers canvas ballots that arrived after closing of voting until Friday at 5pm and postmarked by Nov. 3rd as vote counting in the general election continues, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

A Nov. 17 claim posted to Facebook says President Donald Trump is the true winner of the popular vote in the 2020 election — if “legal” votes are considered.


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“I have maintained since election night that Trump is the clear winner, counting the legal votes. But he’s only 23,800 votes away from winning by a squeaker even if you use the crooked vote tallies widely reported by Associated Press,” begins a post on the Facebook page for Clean TV.

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Clean TV is a media site owned by publicity agency Special Guests. The agency specializes in bookings for conservative news and talk shows, according to its website.

The post is a synopsis of an attached video by Jerry McGlothlin of “20 Days to Save the USA.” He is also credited as CEO of Clean TV on a LinkedIn page. “20 Days to Save the USA” is the name of a virtual media/news conference featuring conservative pundits and the religious right, according to its website.

In his video, McGlothlin says Trump won the popular vote in 48 states except California and New York and needs to flip only 23,800 votes from President-elect Joe Biden to win the presidency.

“Those would have to come from Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia to give a tie of 269 to 269 and with a majority of Republican state delegations, Trump would win the presidency for a second term,” McGothlin said.

Biden leads Trump by over 6 million popular votes.  Six swing states — Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia — have certified the president-elect as the winner of the popular and Electoral College vote, USA TODAY has reported.

McGlothlin did not respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

The claim relies on false allegations of illegal ballot tabulation and software failures that helped Biden edge out Trump in key swing states. Election officials say there was no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, according to USA TODAY.

Trump could reach 269 Electoral College votes in AZ, WI, GA

The Electoral College vote total for Trump stands at 232 and Biden has 306, according to USA TODAY. The final count was solidified on Nov. 19 when the Associated Press declared Biden the winner in Georgia after a recount. 

The claim suggests Trump can “flip” votes in Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia to tie Biden in Electoral College votes. “This is only if Trump’s legal team is able to shift 22,500 votes, but with all the vote fraud, they should be able to do better than this,” it says.

More: Can Electoral College really tie at 269 to 269 ? Yes. It’s not likely but here’s how it works

The post predates the Georgia recount results, which Biden won by 12,670 votes. Biden beat Trump in Arizona by 10,457 votes and in Wisconsin by 20,608 votes, according to USA TODAY.

But Trump could make up for a loss in Georgia, the claim says, by “shifting” 47,000 in Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

McGlothlin and Clean TV claim software from Dominion Voting Systems flipped votes in Pennsylvania from Trump to Biden. USA TODAY has already rated this assertion false.

Trump and the Republican Party filed lawsuits to challenge election results in six battleground states; most have been dismissed by judges. The lawsuits are unlikely to affect many votes, the AP stated on Nov. 6.

A lawsuit filed in Wisconsin and one of the four filed in Arizona are pending, USA TODAY reported.

A j suit filed in Pennsylvania  against the state government by several voters and GOP candidates  alleging unconstitutional mail-in voting rules was dismissed by the state Supreme Court on Saturday, USA TODAY reported. Allies appealed the decision to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.

Biden was certified as the winner in on Nov. 24.

More: Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn’t delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden

Miscounts, election fraud in Michigan, according to signed statements

A lawsuit filed on Nov. 11 in Michigan includes over 100 signed affidavits by people alleging poll watchers had limited access to vote-counters, according to the Detroit Free Press. The suit is pending; a prior lawsuit was dismissed by a judge.

“There are 131 signed affidavits in Michigan of cheating for Biden in Michigan so the courts shouldn’t hesitate,” says the claim about flipping 73,000 votes in the state for Trump.

A similar claim about election workers blocking the vote-counting from poll watchers in Pennsylvania is unsubstantiated, according to CBS News.

The Michigan affidavits also alleged ballot counting errors, backdating and a computer glitch in Antrim County in the northern part of the state, but no proof of widespread fraud or misconduct was determined from the signed statements, according to the Free Press. 

Most of the statements centered around the TCF Center in Detroit, but the Free Press reported more than 134 Republican poll challengers were allowed into the TCF and hundreds more into the area where votes were counted.

The glitch discovered in Antrim County was blamed on Dominion voting machines in a signed affidavit, but it was a mistake on the part of County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who is a Republican, according to the Free Press.

The paper reported that election information for some races was updated for affected precincts, instead of all precincts in the state. Vote totals were scrambled due to flaws in the update. Once flagged by poll watchers, the error was quickly corrected by Guy and other county officials.

On Nov. 23, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted to certify election results, declaring Biden the winner of the popular vote, according to USA TODAY.

Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE,  based on our research. The claim references unproven and falsified allegations to support statements about flipping votes in battleground states from Biden to Trump. There is no evidence to support claims of cheating, outstanding software glitches or illegal voting in the 2020 presidential election.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Special Guests, accessed Nov. 25: “About”
  • 20 Days to Save the USA, accessed Nov. 23: “Introduction”
  • Detroit Free Press, Nov. 23: “Michigan board votes to certify election results despite GOP calls to delay”
  • Reno Gazette Journal, Nov. 24: “Nevada Supreme Court certifies Biden’s presidential win, praises state’s top election official”
  • York Daily Record, Nov. 24: “Pennsylvania certifies election win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 23: “A quick guide: Trump’s lawsuits dispute election results as presidency is called for Biden”
  • Forbes, Nov. 25: “Pennsylvania Court Temporarily Blocks State From Certifying Votes In Response To GOP Challenge”
  • The Associated Press, Nov. 6: “Trump faces tough road in getting Supreme Court to intervene”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 14: “Fact check: Dominion voting machines didn’t delete votes from Trump, switch them to Biden”
  • CBS News, Nov. 6: “Fact-checking Trump’s claims on poll watchers”
  • NPR, Nov. 19: “Biden Flips Coveted Georgia, The Last State To Be Called By The AP”
  • Detroit Free Press, Nov. 11: “Trump lawsuit affidavits allege Michigan election misconduct, don’t show widespread fraud”
  • Detroit Free Press, Nov. 5: “Judge throws out Trump lawsuit over counting of Michigan ballots”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 28: “2020 Presidential Election Results & Electoral Map”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 12: “Election security officials: ‘No evidence voting systems compromised'”
  • LinkedIn, accessed Nov. 28: “Jerry McGlothlin”
  • The Washington Post, Dec, 1: “Trump allies to ask Supreme Court to block Pennsylvania ruling on mail-in ballots”
  • USA TODAY, Nov. 28: “Pa. Supreme Court dismisses GOP congressman’s lawsuit that sought to invalidate mail-in votes”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Biden won popular, Electoral College votes in several battleground states

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