Republicans today face pressure from two directions over the 2020 election results. They are stuck between former President Donald Trump’s version of events on one side and the conclusions of election experts from the other, and those forces are heading for a collision, like the space trash compactor closing walls in Star Wars: Episode IV.
A May Reuters poll found that 56% of self-identified Republicans believe last year’s election results were rigged or stemmed from an illegal vote. Disagreeing with these claims may get you kicked out of the party, but there are also growing consequences for those who publicly marry them or act violently against them, as the protesters did on the U.S. Capitol. January 6th.
Were in a situation where a lot of … people were lied to, said Olivia Troye, director of the Republican Voting Project and former assistant to former Vice President Mike Pence. Some are held accountable for their actions, but the people who misled them have not yet been held accountable.
More than 535 people have so far been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 uprising, according to the Justice Department, and more than 300 suspects remain unidentified. Paul Hodgkins, 38, of Florida on Monday became the first accused of the attack on the Capitol to be sentenced on a felony charge. He was sentenced to eight months in prison.
In the conservative media world, the media are very careful about how they talk about electoral fraud as a result of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits from voting technology companies. Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic both filed lawsuits against Fox News this year. Dominion accused Fox News of endorsing, repeating and broadcasting a series of verifiable but devastating lies about the company, while Smartmatic said the cable network had joined a conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic.
Fox News has called for both lawsuits to be dismissed, but the network appears to be taking them seriously. When Trump started talking about the 2020 election during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month, Fox News issued a warning on his chyron that read: Voting system companies have denied the various allegations made by President Trump and his lawyer regarding the 2020 Election. The warning aired for 40 seconds.
Fox Business Network, Newsmax, One America News, and the New York-based radio station WABC, which airs a show hosted by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, all either aired their own warnings, apologized, or withdrew or deleted reports. articles on the voting machine allegations, according to an ongoing count by the Washington Post.
There have also been consequences for those who promote the theories of voter fraud. Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in Washington, DC and New York State, and he and other prominent figures who have made allegations about voting technology companies are also under scrutiny. of prosecutions.
Despite these developments, leading Republicans have continued to try to appease Trump and his supporters. They often say that concerns about the integrity of the vote are valid without alleging specific irregularities or fraud or without claiming that the election was stolen.
You want to make sure your elections are fair, Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News last week before later adding that Joe Biden is the President of the United States he rightfully elected.
For Troye, comments like these represent an attempt to have it both ways.
It’s their way of saying it but not saying it, she said. This is all part of the overall story of the Big Lie and its continuation and they use it to push other initiatives and they raise money for it.
In the three weeks after Election Day alone, Trump and the Republican National Committee raised more than $ 200 million by claiming to have defrauded voters.
Although Republican leaders, including McCarthy, have said Biden is the legitimately elected president, other GOP officials have been heavily rebuffed for condemning the allegations of voter fraud. For example, Jason Roe, then executive director of the Michigan Republican Party, faced the wrath of his party after saying the election was not stolen. He resigned from his post last week.
Likewise, Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., One of 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s second impeachment, lost her role as Speaker of the House Republican Conference in May. She and most of the other members who voted for impeachment now face major pro-Trump challengers.
In addition to fueling conflict among members, GOPs focus on the 2020 election results can cost the party dearly in the long run.
On Twitter, the number of users who publicly identified themselves as Republicans in their biographies dropped dramatically after the Jan.6 uprising, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found. In Arizona, more than 20,000 Republicans left the party between January and May. Republicans now outnumber at any time in nearly a decade.
Republican incumbents do not seem keen on making the 2020 election a 2022 target. Recent digital ads released by several Republican senators in preparation for their re-election do not affect the integrity of the elections, but instead focus on topics like China, Dr Anthony Fauci and Big Tech.
Still, electoral denial could be a salient issue midway through, thanks, in large part, to Trump, whose continued false claims keep accusations of fraud at the forefront.
Some companies, after coming under public pressure, have pledged not to donate to lawmakers who lie about voter fraud.
Toyota is committed to supporting and promoting actions that promote our democracy, the company said in a recent statement to the Detroit News.
While significant, declines in corporate donations, the growing threat of lawsuits and jail time for protesters may not be enough to end rumors about the so-called Big Lie, Troye said.
We were very concerned about what was going on here, she said.
The special House committee investigating the January 6 riot will hold its first hearing next Wednesday, and trials in the Capitol attack case are ongoing and are expected to continue until 2023, Washington told Post lawyers close to the investigation.
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