Newsweek: The GOP’s Election Fraud Strategy Isn’t New or Fleeting: Experts
Newsweek: The GOP's Election Fraud Strategy Isn't New or Fleeting: Experts
Republican candidates have questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, making claims of election fraud a key part of their campaign, and as many prepare to win in their conservative-leaning districts in the upcoming midterms, it seems the GOP strategy isn’t going anywhere.
The Republican Party has long been focused on ballot security and voter fraud prevention, while Democrats have turned their efforts to expanding voter access. But GOP concerns reached a boiling point after former President Donald Trump and other top Republicans ceaselessly repeated unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen.
Despite efforts from both Democrat and some Republican officials to deny those claims, the GOP’s rhetoric has impacted voter confidence among Americans on both sides of the aisle. A poll conducted earlier this month by Axios/Ipsos found that 26 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of Republicans think that election fraud is likely to be the reason their party won’t take control of Congress in November.
Other polls suggest that the proliferation of those beliefs is even higher. A Poynter analysis in June found that on average, 7 in 10 Republicans say President Joe Biden isn’t the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. …
If candidates are claiming the midterm elections are fraudulent before the ballots are tallied, what happens when they win? How can a candidate cast doubt on the electoral system but recognize their own electoral victory without contradicting themselves?
“It’s a snake eating its tail at this point,” Sylvia Albert, Common Cause’s director of voting and elections, told Newsweek.
The challenges to GOP’s election denial tactic were unraveled in the Republican primaries, where GOP candidates are pitted against one another. As some moved onto the general ballot, others refused to accept the primary wins of members of their party.
“If you have multiple election deniers up for election, and one of them wins, the other one is still going to deny that the election actually took place,” Albert said. She added, “The right has gotten themselves to somewhere they didn’t expect.”