Within that group, though, there was a broad range of margins. In part, that’s because obtaining city-level results wasn’t possible, meaning we relied on surrounding counties, which tends to pull results more to the middle. (Those results are identified with asterisks.) In part, it’s a function of different cities simply having different politics and demographics.
There are two cities identified above that have county-level results that skirt the middle.
Jacksonville makes up most of Duval County, Fla., where Biden beat Trump by about four percentage points. It is fair to assume that Jacksonville backed Biden.
Fort Worth, on the other hand, makes up less than half of Tarrant County, Tex., where the vote was about tied. The closest we can come to a tally of votes in Fort Worth proper at the moment is to consider the total in precincts that also voted on a Fort Worth Independent School District measure. The district covers most of the city and some outlying areas; those precincts backed Biden by a 19-point margin over Trump. Safe to assume Biden won the city.
We did something similar in Oklahoma City, comparing the precincts that voted on a city-specific measure to the presidential vote in those precincts. This showed that Trump squeaked by Biden by a four-point margin, winning the city.
Oklahoma City is not the first city that springs to mind when you think of an American city. It’s about one-twelfth the size of New York City, with a population of about 655,000 according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 estimate. In other words, it’s a little smaller than North Dakota.
Trump won about 160,000 votes in Oklahoma City — about a fourth of the votes he received in New York City. He won about seven times as many votes in Los Angeles County, a good reminder that even in blue regions there are a lot of red voters.
In fact, Trump’s cumulative vote total in the 25 largest cities (and, where applicable, counties) was larger than his combined vote in 18 states, including nine states he won. (Those were Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.) Ten percent of Trump’s vote total came in the 25 largest cities in the country. About 20 percent of Biden’s did.
Here’s a data point for you, along the same lines: More than half of Trump’s vote came from states he lost — meaning that most Trump voters will not be represented in the electoral college at all. (That’s 38 million blue-state voters out of his 74 million vote total.) Only about a third of Biden’s votes came from states he lost.
Trump would have lost his reelection bid even if we switched from an electoral to a popular-vote system, of course. But at least most of his voters’ votes would have affected the outcome.
His votes in Oklahoma City did, of course. They helped him win Oklahoma’s seven electoral votes, leaving him 38 votes shy of a second term, instead of 45 votes short.