Jake Johnson, Common Dreams
In six key battleground states that played a decisive role in the 2020 presidential race, Republican candidates who have openly embraced former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” have won nearly two-thirds of the GOP nominating contests for positions with power over state and federal elections, a potentially seismic threat to democracy.
According to a Washington Post analysis published Monday, 54 of 87 Republican nominees for key posts in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have denied the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
“Had those candidates held power in 2020, they would have had the electoral clout to try something that the current officeholders refused: overturning the vote and denying Biden the presidency,” the Post notes. “Whether they could have succeeded in practice is a matter of vigorous debate among scholars, who cite the potential for court challenges and other means of upholding the results.”
“But the experts agree on one thing: A close presidential contest that comes down to the outcome in states where officials are willing to try to thwart the popular will could throw the country into chaos,” the newspaper adds. “It would potentially delay the result, undermine confidence in the democratic system, and sow the seeds of civil strife on a scale even greater than what the nation saw on January 6, 2021.”
Trump, who is gearing up for a possible 2024 run as he’s under criminal investigation by the Justice Department, has endorsed and campaigned for many of the candidates featured in the Post‘s analysis, including Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake—a former TV news anchor whose incessant lies about the 2020 election catapulted her to a win in the GOP primary earlier this month, delighting the former president.
Even in victory, Lake lashed out at the Arizona election process, complainingthat the results “took longer than they should have.”
The Post‘s analysis confirms that Arizona, a state Biden carried narrowly in 2020, is a bastion of election denial on the GOP side: 12 of 13 Republican nominees for state and federal offices there have questioned the election, including the chosen candidate for secretary of state.
Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, called the rise of GOP election deniers across the U.S. “the biggest story not enough people are watching.”
“This is how our democracy could crumble, quickly and quietly,” Bookbinder warned.
The notion that Biden was elected illegitimately is broadly popular with Republican voters, according to recent opinion surveys. As the Post points out, “The predilection among Republican primary voters toward candidates who deny the result of the last election extends well beyond Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona—three states that together accounted for 47 electoral votes in 2020, more than enough to flip the last election to Trump.”
Scary stuff⬇️ https://t.co/sbbXHFn1pe
— Joan Esposito (@JoanEspositoCHI) August 15, 2022
This story has been edited for length. Read the full story here.