Trump is already claiming the California recall is rigged

By Jeremy B. White,
September 9, 2021


Donald Trump opened his presidency by falsely claiming massive voter fraud in California. Now he’s returned to the subject, raising the prospect that the outcome of next week’s recall election could follow the same divisive path as last year’s presidential election.

Trump, who told Newsmax this week that the election to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is “probably rigged,” is the most prominent in a string of conservatives who have cast evidence-free aspersions on the upcoming vote.

With Republican figures simultaneously telling voters that Newsom’s defeat is inevitable and cautioning that Democrats will try to manipulate the outcome — and polls showing Newsom is likely to survive — it’s a combustible combination. It also might be a preview of what’s in store for the 2022 midterm elections in the wake of Trump’s barrage of false claims about the integrity of election results.

Republican-turned-independent Assemblymember Chad Mayes said his phone has been lighting up with “texts saying ‘don’t let them steal it.’”

“It’s this constant messaging that somehow if Republicans lose elections, it’s because of voter fraud. It is wrong, it is dangerous, and it needs to stop,” Mayes said.

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All of it resembles the contentious aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, which has been marked by Trump’s ongoing election fraud lie.

“There has been this relentless false narrative about election fraud we’ve been hearing for almost a year now” that “peaked with the insurrection on Jan. 6, and it’s been continuing,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation. “Just because something doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean someone’s trying to steal your vote,” she added, but as conspiracies circulate online, “the more outrageous it is, the quicker people hit the ‘share’ button.”

Warnings about pervasive fraud have helped erode Republican distrust in elections. And no one has played a more pivotal role in undermining trust than Trump. As far back as 2016, after Trump lost California by more than 4 million votes, he claimed he was the victim of “massive voter fraud.”

Two years later, he returned to the subject. "In many places, like California, the same person votes many times — you've probably heard about that," Trump said, without offering any proof. "They always like to say 'oh, that's a conspiracy theory' — not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people." (Full Story)