One last piece of election news before the year comes to an end: A second analysis of the presidential vote also has found that Macomb County played a huge role in electing Donald Trump.

The highly regarded Cook Report concluded that Trump’s path to victory, by narrowly winning Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, was made possible by three counties: Macomb County, MI; York County, PA; and Waukesha County, WI. If not for those three counties (if they theoretically had cast zero votes), Trump would have lost all three states and the Electoral College vote.

It’s important to point out that the U.S. has a little more than 3,000 counties.

Last month, Trump’s pollster, Tony Fabrizio said: “For all the money that was spent, for the all the effort that was made, literally four counties in Florida, one county in Michigan, puts us at 261 Electoral) votes and makes Hillary Clinton the president. So, remember that.”

Fabrizio did not name the counties but those who have studied the election tallies closely say that he almost certainly was referring to Macomb in Michigan and in Florida it was a reference to four of these five: Lee County (Fort Myers), Pasco (Dade City), Polk (Bartow), Pinellas (Clearwater) and Volusia (Daytona Beach).

The Cook Report took a slightly different view, noting that the Electoral College outcome came down to just 77,759 votes cast in three Northern states:

  • 22,748 votes in WI, 0.7 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 188,330)
  • 44,307 votes in PA, 0.7 of a point, (3rd party candidates received: 218,228)
  • 10,704 votes in MI, 0.2 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 250,902 votes)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, and 2.1 percentage points. But while she narrowly improved on President Obama’s margin in non-swing states (4.1% vs. 4.0%), she vastly underperformed in the 13 swing states that actually mattered: Obama’s 3.6-percentage point margin in those states in ’12 morphed into a 1.8 percent Trump lead.


Photo: ABC News screenshot