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Let’s take a closer look at how Trump lost Michigan: State releases election results by city and township

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In 2016, Donald Trump won the affluent suburbs of Grosse Pointe Woods, Bloomfield Hills and Rockford.

In 2020, there was a 12-point swing in all three communities, and Joe Biden took all three.

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office recently released the district-level vote totals for November 2020, and it confirms what county-level data already suggested: Donald Trump lost Michigan because support for the former president has declined in many towns and townships across the state, a trend led by affluent suburbs with large numbers of college-educated voters.

There were a total of 48 communities that Trump won in 2016 and lost in 2020.

Besides Grosse Pointe Woods, Bloomfield Hills and Rockford, this list includes the towns of Livonia, Rochester Hills, Rochester, Midland, Wyoming, Charlevoix, North Muskegon, Port Huron, Wyandotte, Flushing and Monroe, as well as the Township of Clinton in the county. of Macomb, Northville Township of Oakland County, Township of Plymouth in Wayne County, Township of Grand Rapids, Township of Texas in Kalamazoo County and Township of Saginaw.

In comparison, there are only three communities that Trump lost in 2016 but gained in 2020: the townships of Grand Island and Mathias in Algiers County, which is on the Upper Peninsula, and Webber Township in Lake County. All three are small communities with less than 1,000 voters between them.

Even in communities where Trump has won again, the shift to the Democratic turn has been pronounced, helping to increase Bidens’ vote totals.

For example, Trump won the Grand Rapids suburb of Grandville by 13 points in 2020. But in 2016, he won the city by 27 points.

In total, Trump lost support in 57% of Michigan’s cities and townships – 871 out of 1,520 – when comparing vote totals from 2020 to 2016.

Interestingly, among the communities where Trump did better in 2020 than in 2016, there were a number of predominantly black cities, including Detroit, Flint, and Benton Harbor. While Biden has always won these cities brilliantly, it was by a lower margin than 2016.

Trump actually improved his proportion of Michigan’s vote in 2020, taking 47.8% of the vote up from 47.5% in 2016. The problem is, Biden has done much better than Hillary Clinton; 50.6% voted Democratic in 2020 compared to 47.3% in 2016. This explains why Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016, but lost by 154,158 in 2020.

Below is a map showing the change in support for Trump between 2016 and 2020. Trump lost support in Green Cities and Townships and gained support in Orange communities. (Can’t see the map? Click here.)

Next is a map that shows the towns and townships where Trump got more votes than Biden.

Remember, while much of the map looks red, Trump won the vote in small rural communities while Biden dominated in large population centers. For example, Biden won 94% of the vote in Detroit, where the number of voters in November 2020 exceeded the number of votes cast in the 500 smallest townships and towns of Michigans, or one-third of the total card. (More information below.)

You can hover your cursor over a community to see the underlying data, including vote totals for 2016 and 2020. (Can’t see the map? Click here.)

Then there is a database that allows you to search 2020 presidential numbers for any community, as well as the net swing for or against Trump compared to 2016 (to see the 2016 numbers use the interactive map. )

If you type the name of a county in parentheses, you can see the communities ranked by change in favor of Trump.

Can’t see the database? Click here.

And here’s an interactive map showing the 2020 Senate race, in which US Senator Gary Peters defeated Republican John James. Once again, Peters predominates in heavily populated urban and suburban communities, while James does best in less populated towns and townships.

Can’t see the map? Click here.

Other highlights of the 2020 election data:

Trump won 30 cities and townships with at least 80% of the vote in 2020, up from 20 communities in 2016. The top five: Germfask Township at Schoolcraft, where Trump received 87% of the vote; Aetna Township, Riverside and Clam Union townships in Missaukee County and Woodbridge Township in Hillsdale County. Biden won 20 towns and townships with at least 80% of the vote in 2020, compared to 17 communities who voted for Clinton at this level in 2016. Top five; Royal Oak Township in Oakland County, where Biden received 96% of the vote, followed by Highland Park (95%), Benton Harbor (94%), Detroit (94%) and Muskegon Heights (91%). Other cities with over 80% support for Biden include Flint, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Pontiac and Southfield, The Big Difference Between the Trump and Biden Lists: There was a collective total of around 20,500 votes in the 30 communities that reached 80% or more of Trump from 512,000 votes in the 20 communities with that margin for Biden. 1,508 of 1,520 cities and townships recorded higher voter turnout in 2020 compared to 2016. Of the nine communities with the decline, the largest was East Lansing, home of Michigan State University, which did not hold classes in no one last fall because of the pandemic. The turnout at East Lansing fell 11%, from 18,161 in 2016 to 15,112 in 2020.

Last week, the U.S. Census released its analysis of the turnout for the 2020 election. Some of the Michigan data highlights include:

By gender, women were more likely to vote than men, but men registered the largest increase from 2016. Among Michigan residents eligible to vote – that is, aged 18 years or older and US citizen – approximately 68% of women and 66% of men voted in 2020. In comparison, the turnout in 2016 was 66% for women and 62% for men. By age, the turnout was significantly higher among younger voters and relatively stable among older voters. The census estimates that 53% of 18-24 year olds voted in 2020 compared to 38% in 2016. This also beats 51% of turnout for this age group in 2008, the first time Barack Obama was on the ballot. The breakdown by age group is down in the graph below.

Eligible residents are defined as Michigan residents 18 years of age and older who are US citizens. Source: US Census Bureau

According to census estimates, the turnout increased the most for black and Hispanic voters in Michigans, less for whites, and declined for Asian voters. While the turnout was on the rise among black residents, it was still lower than the estimated 71% of Michigan black voters who voted in 2008. Note: With Michigan having a relatively low number of Asian and Hispanic votes, there are large margins of error for these two groups. Nationally, the census estimates that the Hispanic participation rate rose from 48% in 2016 to 54% in 2020, and the participation rate among Asian Americans rose from 49% to 60%.

Source: US Census Bureau

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