The votes are still being counted and the results are unofficial, but former Vice President Joe Biden already has surpassed former President Barack Obama’s record of 69.4 million votes in 2008. But conservative personalities on social media falsely dismiss that achievement as “a damn lie.”
The 2020 presidential election inspired a record number of voters. More than 146 million votes had been counted by early Nov. 6 — far surpassing the previous high of 136.7 million votes cast in the 2016 election.
The number of votes that Biden has amassed has already made history. By Nov. 6, more than 73 million ballots had been counted for Biden, which exceeds the previous record of 69.4 million votes that Obama won in 2008.
But as Biden’s total continued to grow, social media posts baselessly questioned Biden’s ability to break Obama’s record. Former Fox News contributors and popular conservative personalities Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, also known as Diamond and Silk, suggested in a Nov. 4 Facebook post that the reporting of Biden’s record-breaking wasn’t possible.
“They want us to believe that Biden, who stayed in his basement, only came out long enough to do a few events with 6 circles, got more of the popular vote than any other President in history…Even more than Obama?” they said. “This is a damn lie and every American should be outraged!”
The duo repeated the claim on their Twitter account on Nov. 5, calling on followers to “be disgusted by this fraud!” The original Facebook post has garnered over 77,000 reactions, while the tweet received more than 25,000 likes. The conservative duo, the Hodgetwins, echoed the baseless claim.
In addition, Diamond and Silk’s assertion in their post that Biden only did “a few events with 6 circles” in the months leading up to the campaign is also unfounded. Biden did not make as many campaign appearances as Trump did in the final weeks, but he held 33 campaign events in 20 states from Oct. 12 to Nov. 3, according to USA Today, which kept track of the candidates’ travel. From Sept. 1 through Nov. 2, Biden made 11 visits to Pennsylvania alone, according to NBC10 in Philadelphia.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here for more.
Concha, Joe. “Pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk launch new program on Newsmax TV.” The Hill. Aug. 10 2020.
“Data Archive: Elections.” The American Presidency Project. Accessed Nov. 5 2020.
Fichera, Angelo. “Biden Hasn’t Suspended In-Person Campaigning.” Oct. 26, 2020.
McCrone, Brian and Amy O’Kurk. “Presidential Race Tracker: See How Often and Where Biden & Trump Are in Pa.” Accessed Nov. 5.
Peter, Josh. “Joe Biden makes history with total votes received, beating Barack Obama’s record.” USA Today. 4 Nov 2020.
“U.S. Presidential Election Results 2020.” NBC News. Accessed Nov. 5.
“Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections.” The American Presidency Project. Accessed Nov. 5 2020.