As a threshold matter, it is important to understand how eerily similar the 2020 results in Philadelphia were to 2016. As of Tuesday evening, 743,966 votes for president had been counted in Philadelphia — an increase of 34,348 votes from 2016. This 4.8 percent increase in turnout is less than half of the 11.6 percent increase in turnout seen in the state as a whole.
Not only was the increase in the number of ballots cast in Philadelphia from 2016 to 2020 relatively modest, but Mr. Trump won more votes and a greater percentage of the votes there than he did in 2016. He received 18 percent of the two-party vote this year, up from 15.7 percent in 2016, gaining 24,122 votes. In contrast, Mr. Biden received two percentage points less of the two-party vote in the city than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. If any fraud was attempted in Philadelphia, it failed miserably.
Mr. Biden also did worse in Philadelphia in comparison with 2016 than in most other counties in the state. Mr. Biden outpaced Mrs. Clinton in 57 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Though he got one percentage point more of the two-party vote than she did statewide, he underperformed her by 2.3 points in Philadelphia County — the biggest percentage-point decline in any county in the state. Philadelphia stands out as the county where Mr. Biden did particularly poorly, not suspiciously well.