Republican David Perdue made election fraud his centerpiece in his bid to become Georgia's governor. His supporters won't be able to trust the democratic system Perdue says they should trust if he is to win this year's midterm election.
He says that to win a rigged electoral election you must turn out in such large numbers that Democrats can't cheat.
Perdue stated to his audience last month that if everyone votes, then we will win.
Republicans across the country are trying a similar high-wire act. They're promoting skepticism and campaigning for votes, while embracing discredited conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election.
It's a complicated equation for GOP candidates. They risk undermining the faith of democracy and making their supporters leave. Trump's false claims will be rejected by those who do not believe them. They are likely to face the wrath from his supporters and former president Donald Trump, who have a large influence in many GOP primaries.
Voters can be confused by the tactic of campaigning on distrust of democracy. Joe Kent, a Republican running in Washington for Congress, stated that voters often ask him why they should vote at all if elections have been rigged. Kent stated that he believes Trump won, and that he would work to reverse President Joe Biden’s win if elected even though there is no legal way.
Kent stated that he gives voters who have lost faith in voting the following words: "I don’t know the perfect answer for you." "I wish there were a solution. We are 100% going lose if you believe that 'It's all rigged and I'm not going vote'.
Other issues have risen to the forefront in the 18 months since Trump's defeat by Biden: inflation, Russia's invasion Ukraine, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as debates about vaccines and school masks.
Trump's false statements regarding the election have been disproved by both courts and law enforcement. Both elected officials from both sides as well as independent investigations have also disproved them.
"We must move on to solving problems citizens," said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler from Washington, the Republican who is facing a primary challenge from Kent this year. Beutler stated that she supports Trump's right of legal challenges. However, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Beutler was one of the 10 House Republicans that supported Trump's second impeachment. Trump's supporters also saw Beutler vote to confirm Biden's victory in the election.
He began to doubt the validity of the 2020 election years before the first votes were cast. He said he would accept the results only if he was the winner. He has been repeating these same claims for the past year and half, even though there is no evidence. He now uses his power within GOP to punish candidates who are not loyal enough.
Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama stalwart Trump supporter, said to a group of Trump supporters that it was now time to move on from 2020. He was ridiculed. Trump eventually withdrew his endorsement for Brooks in the Alabama Senate race.
Brooks stated that Brooks wanted to cancel the election and allow for a re-election. Brooks later stated, "But there's no legal means to do it."
Many Republicans have accepted Trump's conspiracy theories. Rep. Billy Long from Missouri ran a 30-second commercial claiming that the "Democrats rigged" the election. YouTube removed the advertisement for violating its misinformation rules.
One survey of the 143 Republican candidates for Congress in Texas this year revealed that only 13 said that Biden was the rightful winner.
Georgia is perhaps the most striking example of Trump's self-serving conspiracies continuing to resonate with Republican voters and candidates seeking their support.
The January 2021 Georgia Republican turnout dropped amid Trump's campaign of voter fraud claims regarding his own election loss. Many Republicans concluded that Trump's messaging cost them control of the Senate. Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were defeated by Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Raphael Warnock.
Trump has ordered Perdue to run for governor. He made election fraud the central part of his challenge against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp. Trump and Perdue blame Kemp for failing to try to reverse Trump's defeat at Georgia during the 2020 campaign.
Perdue promised to get rid of Georgia's Dominion voter machines. Trump has been falsely accused that they were flipping his votes. Perdue said that concerns about machines shouldn't discourage Republicans voting. He also pointed out that Glenn Youngkin, a Democratic-leaning Virginian, was elected with votes recorded by Dominion machines.
Let's offer some hope. Perdue stated that Virginia just elected a Republican governor with the same machines. "How did we do it? Trump said that he had told them: "Look, they set some rules. The machines are still used. We still use the machines.
Perdue also praised Republican efforts to recruit more election watchers, claiming they will help prevent fraud. However, Perdue's accusations focused on the unproven claim that Georgia fraud was centered around absentee ballots returned in drop boxes.
Herschel Walker, who is running for the U.S. Senate, has taken a new approach, saying that he doesn’t want to look backwards at 2020. Walker expressed concern about Republican voter fraud in an interview with WDUN-AM radio station in Gainesville, Georgia on April 20. Walker reassured voters that Georgia's 2021 restrictive election law will end absentee ballot fraud by requiring driver license numbers for ballot applications and limiting the number of ballot drop boxes.
Walker stated that he didn't know if there were any problems in the 2020 elections. "One thing that worries me right now is that we will have fair elections and that people believe in our election when it comes to running for office."
Surveys show that many Republicans doubt Biden's win. This skepticism has been encouraged and facilitated by Trump and his associates on talk radio and cable TV, as well as conspiracy theories and misinformation spread online.
Already growing distrust of American institutions, Trump started telling his supporters that he would lose the election because it was rigged. Many states rushed to create new vote-by mail rules after the COVID-19 pandemic. This alarmed some conservatives, and led to Trump's further falsehoods.
Large numbers of mail-in ballots in states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania helped tilt the results in favor of Biden when the votes were counted.
Daron Shaw, who is now a University of Texas professor and former campaign strategist and polling expert, said that "they view what happened in Pennsylvania or Georgia with suspicion." "But it was their guy that said don't mail your ballot. Voters follow the lead of partisan elites. But instead of challenging this (voter fraud claim), party elites have acted like an accelerant.