Analysing Republican nominee election denialism

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ASPartOfMe
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19 Jul 2022, 3:58 am

At least 120 Republican Nominess Deny 2020 Election Results

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This election cycle, FiveThirtyEight is tracking the views of every Republican candidate for Senate, House, governor, attorney general and secretary of state on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And now that we’re halfway through the primary season, we can say definitively that at least 120 election deniers have won their party’s nomination and will be on the ballot in the fall.

How did we arrive at that number?

Categorizing candidates’ stances on the legitimacy of the 2020 election is not a straightforward exercise. Sure, some Republicans openly state the race was stolen, while others (a much smaller number) have unambiguously accepted the legitimacy of President Biden’s victory. But many have tried to walk a fine line between the two — for example, by accepting the results but still expressing concern about mass voter fraud, or by winking at the idea that the election was stolen without saying so outright. So we’ve ended up putting candidates into one of six categories:

Those who have explicitly said the 2020 election was illegitimate and/or took legal measures to try and overturn the election.1
Those who raised questions or concerns about the election but haven’t outright denied or affirmed it.
Those who have accepted Biden’s victory but have still raised questions or concerns about fraud.
Those who have accepted Biden’s victory without reservations.
Those who have refused or avoided directly answering questions about the election (e.g., by changing the subject when asked about it).
Those for whom no information is available.
After doing that for all 1,148 Republican candidates for these offices in nominating contests through the end of June, here are four observations we have so far.

1. Half of Republican nominees have at least flirted with denying the election

As mentioned above, out of 340 Republican nominees for Senate, House, governor, attorney general and secretary of state so far, 120 are full-blown election deniers (35 percent).2 This includes people like Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who said in a campaign ad that “the fake news, big tech and blue-state liberals stole the election from President Trump,” and Indiana Rep. Greg Pence, who voted not to certify Pennsylvania’s electoral votes (defying his brother, former Vice President Mike Pence) and hasn’t spoken out on the issue since. It also includes at least four people who attended the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol: Pennsylvania gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, Ohio 9th Congressional District nominee J.R. Majewski, Oregon senatorial nominee Jo Rae Perkins and North Carolina 1st Congressional District nominee Sandy Smith.

An additional 48 nominees (14 percent) have expressed doubts about the election despite the multitude of evidence that it was legitimate. This includes people like Nevada gubernatorial nominee Joe Lombardo and Arkansas gubernatorial nominee Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who have both said some fraud took place but they’re not sure how much; Oregon 5th District nominee Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who did not take a direct stance but used dog-whistle language that undermined faith in the election; and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who gave credence to Trump’s false claims by proposing an “election integrity commission.”

In total, almost half of the GOP’s nominees for these offices have at least dabbled in false election claims. However, a lot of that is simply because the candidate pool overall was sympathetic to these claims, rather than primary voters going out of their way to elect election deniers.

2. And that’s almost certainly an undercount …
Considering the 2020 election continues to be a major talking point in the Republican primaries, you may be surprised to learn that a sizable chunk of candidates haven’t publicly stated their opinion on the 2020 election either way. We were unable to find a stated position on the 2020 election for 37 percent of Republican primary candidates (421 out of 1,148) and a quarter of GOP nominees (84 out of 340). That means that our finding of the number of nominees so far who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent is almost certainly an undercount — it’s likely that a portion of the candidates for whom we can’t find a publicly stated opinion are, in fact, election deniers. We know this because when we follow up with these kinds of candidates, they often tell us they are — even if they aren’t serious contenders.

However, this doesn’t mean that all of the candidates who didn’t respond are secretly harboring election conspiracy beliefs. When candidates responded to our questions, they would also sometimes confirm that they believed the 2020 election was legitimate.

3. Denying the election is most common in House races — and rarest in secretary of state races
While we analyzed candidates for five different offices, we found that nominees for the U.S. House were the likeliest to embrace Trump’s lies about the election. Full-blown election deniers constitute 40 percent (105 out of 263) of Republican nominees for the House thus far. By contrast, they constitute between just 18 and 22 percent of Republican nominees for the other four offices.

When you add in the 14 percent (36 out of 263) of Republican House nominees who have questioned the election’s legitimacy, a total of 54 percent of Republican House nominees have publicly at least entertained the notion that the election was stolen. The only comparable office is governor; just 20 percent (four out of 20) of Republican gubernatorial nominees have fully embraced Trump’s false election-fraud claims. An additional 35 percent (seven out of 20) have flirted with them, though.

However, unlike for the House, a sizable number of gubernatorial nominees have also accepted the 2020 election results — four with reservations, four without them, for a total of 40 percent. By contrast, only 18 percent (47 out of 263) of House nominees have acknowledged Biden’s win.

Arguably, though, a candidate’s position on election integrity is most important in secretary of state races, given that, in most states, the secretary of state is the state’s top election official and the one most involved in conducting elections in the state. But perhaps somewhat surprisingly given Trump’s interest in installing loyalists as secretaries of state, these nominees are the least likely to sympathize with election-fraud claims. Out of 17 Republican secretary of state nominees thus far, only three — Kristina Karamo in Michigan, Jim Marchant in Nevada and Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico — have outright rejected the legitimacy of the 2020 election, while one other — Wes Allen in Alabama — has nodded in that direction. That’s just 24 percent of secretary of state nominees. Of course, at least two of those states are crucial swing states, so these candidates may still pose a threat to democracy if they win.

4. But denying the election isn’t a guaranteed win
Being a candidate who claims the 2020 election was stolen is a bit like being endorsed by Trump (and, unsurprisingly, these two pools of candidates tend to overlap) — it can help in the right race, but it’s not a guaranteed winning strategy. Often, other electoral factors override the appeal an election-denying candidate might have — especially when that’s all they really have to offer voters.

In many of the races where voters had a choice between a candidate who had denied the election results and one who accepted them, the latter was an incumbent facing a lesser-known, far-right challenger who was then predictably crushed in the primary.

Other electoral factors besides incumbency were at play here, too. In purple districts, for instance, Republicans sometimes decided that a GOP nominee who can potentially attract moderates from the other side in a general election is more appealing than one who can rile up the base.

That said, some election deniers also won nominations in purple districts, and even unseated incumbents. Even races where the incumbent ultimately prevailed have sometimes been close.

In other words, questioning the results of the 2020 election might not be a surefire path to the nomination, but it hasn’t proven to be a dealbreaker for Republican voters, either. That speaks volumes as to the overall direction the Republican Party is moving in.

undrlining=mine


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Tim_Tex
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19 Jul 2022, 3:08 pm

One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).



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19 Jul 2022, 3:30 pm

Tim_Tex wrote:
One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).



So you're in favor of authoritarianism systems of government.


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Fnord
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19 Jul 2022, 3:32 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).
So you're in favor of authoritarianism systems of government.
Actually, Liberalism holds the disestablishment of authoritative rule as one of its key tenets.

Look up "The Enlightenment" -- A philosophical movement that dominated in Europe during the 18th century, that was centered around the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and that advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.



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19 Jul 2022, 3:54 pm

Fnord wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).
So you're in favor of authoritarianism systems of government.
Actually, Liberalism holds the disestablishment of authoritative rule as one of its key tenets.

Look up "The Enlightenment" -- A philosophical movement that dominated in Europe during the 18th century, that was centered around the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and that advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.


Nah, that doesn't work. Try again.

Any limitation of opposition parties and ideas is a form of authoritarianism.


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19 Jul 2022, 4:48 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Fnord wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).
So you're in favor of authoritarianism systems of government.
Actually, Liberalism holds the disestablishment of authoritative rule as one of its key tenets.  Look up "The Enlightenment" -- A philosophical movement that dominated in Europe during the 18th century, that was centered around the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and that advocated such ideals as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.
Nah, that doesn't work. Try again.  Any limitation of opposition parties and ideas is a form of authoritarianism.
I do not support the idea of limiting authority to any one party -- quite the opposite, in fact -- which is why I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat.  Liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state were good enough for John Locke, so they are good enough for me.



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19 Jul 2022, 5:59 pm

Tim_Tex wrote:
One-party rule by the Dems is the only acceptable option, with the only legal opposition being parties further to the left (socialist, communist, et al).

To advocate communism is to advocate genocide.


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