These cities were central to Mr. Trump’s defeat in a more symbolic way.
Mr. Biden’s vote count in Wisconsin jumped in the middle of the night After election day, when the city of Milwaukee completed its postal vote at around 3:30 a.m., it explained why many Americans woke up Wednesday morning with a different picture of the Wisconsin race.
In Michigan, the Detroit TCF center became a center for pro-Trump protests as election workers in the city gained votes and Mr Biden’s leadership increased on the Friday after the election.
And in Pennsylvania, it was a table of votes in Philadelphia on Saturday that got Mr. Biden over the threshold where many media outlets were ready to call the state – and the elections – for him. Philadelphia was also the site of some of the loudest celebrations that followed.
In the unofficial results, however, unlike many surrounding suburbs, these cities have barely shifted their vote numbers for the Democrats compared to 2016. And Mr. Trump received about 3,000 additional votes in Milwaukee, about 5,000 in Detroit, and about 21,000 in Philadelphia, in counts that are not yet complete.
Part of what makes these cities multi-year destinations is their size, said Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University. Because of this, they count the ballots more slowly and raise suspicions that the results change late. And if a campaign is aimed at narrowing voting margins through litigation, it makes more sense to track the county with half a million voters than one with just a few hundred.
However, Professor Gillespie said the racist ramifications of these fraud claims would not be lost on African American voters.
“In a minute he’s talking about how he’s the greatest president for blacks since Abraham Lincoln, which is historically inaccurate,” she said. “And then in the next breath you try to disqualify voters in cities with large black populations in a way that looks like disenfranchisement and electoral repression.”