How Just One House District in California Proves Trump Is Lying About Illegal Voting


Two years ago, then president-elect Donald Trump, consumed by irrational insecurity, desperately tried to rationalize his popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton by absurdly blaming his three-million vote deficit on illegal voters. At that time, I wrote a column using the results in California, which more than provided Clinton’s margin of “victory,” to prove that this evidence-less theory was completely nonsensical on its face.

Now, Trump, while similarly racked with self-doubt after losing the House of Representatives (again thanks solely to the margin provided to Democrats by California), has decided to play nearly the exact same fraudulent “illegal voter” card in an effort to escape blame for his loss. In a particularly unhinged interview, Trump told The Daily Caller:

“This is a problem in California that’s so bad of illegals voting. This is a California problem, and if you notice, almost every race — I was watching today — out of like 11 races that are in question, they’re going to win all of them. The Republicans don’t win, and that’s because of potentially illegal votes, which is what I’ve been saying for a long time.”

Thanks to his abject ignorance of how our electoral system operates, it is a very safe bet that Trump doesn’t even understand how and why House elections are the nearly perfect test as to whether there really is any significant voting going on by people who do not have the legal right to vote, presumably due to lack of citizenship.

This is because each congressional district is drawn so that equal numbers of the RESIDENTS (not citizens) of each state are represented by any particular congressman. California, with 53 districts, split up with equal populations, is an outstanding petri dish for determining if there is any global evidence of votes coming from people in the country illegally, in part because, using census data, the state keeps close track of how many residents in each district come from a particular ethnic group.

The California House results from 2018 could not make it clearer that there is no significant voting going on by people in the country illegally. And there is one district in particular, the 21st, which proves the case beyond a shadow of a doubt.

To fully understand why this is true, you first need to look at a few vote tabulations from the rest of the state. Most of the districts in this off-year election had about 200,000 voters cast ballots for a House candidate. Amazingly, and quite tellingly, the race which generated the most votes was that won by Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi, with nearly 300,000 ballots cast.

What was truly remarkable about that “contest” was that Pelosi could have been charged with multiple murders just before Election Day and still won, so there was very little reason for her voters to turn out for her. Despite that, Pelosi, in her extremely affluent and white San Francisco district (with few illegal immigrants being able to afford to live there), got over 250,000 votes, which is simply an astonishing number.

Pelosi’s vote total just on her own, in a completely noncompetitive race, was more votes than were cast for both candidates combined in almost every other race in the entire state. So this creates a terrific voting benchmark for comparison to other, much poorer districts, where the percentage of potential noncitizen residents is far far higher.

If Trump is even a little bit right with his wild speculation, there shouldn’t be that much drop off in the voting numbers in those districts. However that is demonstrably NOT the case, with the 21st district being uniquely crafted to prove that Trump is totally wrong.

In the 21st district of California, according to the 2010 census, at least 71% of the residents (again, not citizens) self-identify as “Mexican.” That obviously does not mean that 71% of the district is made up of illegal immigrants, but it is obvious that this district has a much higher than average portion of its population which is ineligible to vote. This assumption is borne out by its extremely low vote totals in every recent election, and 2018 was no exception.

In a hyper-competitive contest with a Republican incumbent, only 95,000 people in the 21st district cast a ballot for that House race. The Republican appears to have won by only about 2,000 votes.

Now think about how incredibly small that number is. In a district with the exact same population as Pelosi’s, the two candidates, locked in maybe the closet battle in the state, combined to get less than 40% of the votes which Pelosi received just on her own. A total of nine LOSING House candidates in California got as many votes, or more, as the two candidates from the 21st district COMBINED.

These statistics are absolutely mind-blowing, and can have only one rational explanation: that much of the district didn’t vote simply because they were ineligible to do so. And because the Republican won, Trump’s grand conspiracy theory would require systematic voting by illegal immigrants, but with somehow well over 100,000 of them in the 21st district mysteriously deciding not to scam the system, when, if only 2% of that group had decided to vote, Trump’s candidate would have presumably lost.

The bottom-line reality is that voting as an illegal immigrant in California, while not impossible, is not nearly as easy as Trump seems to think that it is, and is simply not worth the perceived risk for someone who is looking to lay low while in the country illegally. If there was any significant voting by illegal immigrants in California this year, there would have been loads of evidence of it, especially in the 21st district, and instead there is absolutely none.

That’s the truth. Just in case evidence and logic still matter to some people.

John Ziegler hosts a weekly podcast focusing on news media issues and is documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud  or email him at

[Photo by Chris Kleponis/Getty Images]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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