During her closing speech on the first night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, former first lady Michelle Obama emphasized the high electoral stakes in November by pointing to the narrow margins that vaulted Donald Trump into the White House in 2016.
"In one of the states that determined the outcome, the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct — two votes," Obama said.
She was referring to Michigan, and her math is accurate.
In the 2016 election, Michigan — one of three crucial states that Trump flipped from the Democrats on his way to victory — had 4,810 precincts.
The final count in the presidential race had Trump with 2,279,543 votes in Michigan and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, with 2,268,839. That’s a winning margin for Trump of 10,704 votes.
Michigan has 83 counties, of which Clinton won only eight. Trump won as much as 74% of the vote in Missaukee County, about 50 miles southeast of Traverse City, where just 7,000 people voted. For her part, Clinton’s best performance was in Washtenaw County, which includes the university towns of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, where she got almost 68% of the roughly 188,000 votes cast.
But dividing 10,704 votes by 4,810 precincts leaves 2.23 votes per precinct.
As it happened, each of three third party candidates — Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Darrell L. Castle — also won more votes than Trump’s margin over Clinton.
Overall, Clinton lost 12 counties Barack Obama had won in 2012, when he won the state as a whole. A crucial shift came in working-class Macomb County, which Obama won by four percentage points but Trump won by 11. Trump’s margin of victory in Macomb County was enough to hand the state to him by itself.
Obama said, "In one of the states that determined the outcome" of the 2016 presidential race, "the winning margin averaged out to just two votes per precinct — two votes."
In Michigan, Trump’s winning margin averaged out to just over two votes per precinct. We rate the statement True.