Republicans lied to each other over voter turnout

The GOP has done such a good job convincing its base that the election is a fraud, many of its supporters are giving up voting.

The incompetent and fueled “audit” of the Arizona state legislature’s 2020 election conspiracy turned out to be a dud. Conservatives have spent months anticipating the results by holding their breath, hoping to “prove” voter fraud, somehow decertifying the election, and creating a Donald Trump restoration. Instead, even the blatantly partisan, run-down and drawn-out examination failed to find any evidence of systemic fraud. In fact, he spent the taxpayer’s $ 6 million to find out – if their methods are reliable – that Biden actually won by 360. Following votes than originally thought.

It’s hard to overstate the problems this can cause Republicans, especially in their attempts to motivate their own base to participate in future elections.

Of course, as Greg Sargent and others have noted, Republican Party string-pullers don’t need to prove fraud to use even the slightest “irregularities” as justification for new voter suppression efforts. Indeed, even though the “audit” report confirmed Biden’s victory, it also, unsurprisingly, recommended “reforms” to restrict postal voting and remove people from electoral rolls. Texas Republicans also selectively audit large Democratic-leaning counties in a transparent racist and partisan effort to cast doubt on elections in those communities. This, in turn, will provide them with an excuse to refuse to certify Democratic victories there, thus aiding them in their plans to overthrow the Electoral College results, let state legislatures and House delegations declare themselves for the election. Republican candidate regardless of the actual election result, and steal the presidency with a coup. These dangers to democracy – and the cruelty of those who plan them – should not be underestimated.

In the meantime, however, people vote again– and Republicans do not yet control all the states they need to win the coup. Democracy in America is not dead yet – and Republicans need at least one or two more legitimate big wins to have a self-sufficient, minority-controlled zombie democracy. They will not get these victories if their base does not vote.

Republicans face a very serious danger of a turnout crisis. When you constantly lie to your base that the elections are rigged against you by dark forces, why should your base vote? If you tell your base that postal voting is fraudulent, you will lose a decades-long advantage over reliable absent voters when they become much less reliable voters on election day.

Although Trump has shocked pollsters with a surprisingly strong turnout in two back-to-back presidential elections, Republicans have yet to prove they can match the Democratic turnout in elections in which Trump is not on the ballot. GOP turnout was low in Georgia’s senatorial elections which cost Mitch McConnell his leadership position; he was still weak in a special election in New Mexico for the House this summer; and it was anemic in the California gubernatorial recall election, despite the fact that most of the supposed militant energy was on the conservative side. In fact, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom topped the poll average in the recall election by about 10 points.

The impact of false allegations of electoral fraud on Republican participation has not gone unnoticed. GOP strategists blamed the disappointing grassroots turnout in California’s recall election, in which Larry Elder randomly attempted to blame voter fraud for his impending defeat. Trump’s relentless ego-appeasement claims about voter fraud almost certainly cost the GOP votes in the Georgia Senate run-off – and Republicans know it.

In this context, it is interesting to read the report of the President of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel tweets trying to spin the embarrassing Arizona “audit” results. “There are clear process failures that need to be addressed for voters to have confidence in our elections,” she wrote. “Failure to build confidence in our electoral systems will reduce voter turnout. “


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