In Arizona, that’s 12 out of 13 candidates, including eight out of nine running for the U.S. House. Speaking of the House, if Republicans do take it back in November, the deniers are likely to dominate and control. A would-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy sure as hell wouldn’t be willing or able to stand against them. That makes governing all but impossible and sets up an extremely frightening prospect for 2024’s presidential election.
“It’s quite possible in 2022 we’re going to have a serious set of challenges before the new Congress is seated, and then this will escalate as we move toward 2024 and another presidential election, in which the candidates, again, almost required by the Trumpians, will be challenging election outcomes,” Larry Jacobs, a politics professor at the University of Minnesota, told the Post. Jacobs’ expertise includes legislative politics.
“It is a disease that is spreading through our political process, and its implications are very profound,” Jacobs said. “This is no longer about Donald Trump. This is about the entire electoral system and what constitutes legitimate elections. All of that is now up in the air.”
It’s about whether this becomes a Christo-fascist authoritarian nation. “Election denialism is a form of corruption,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, the author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present and a historian at New York University. “The party has now institutionalized this form of lying, this form of rejection of results. So it’s institutionalized illegal activity. These politicians are essentially conspiring to make party dogma the idea that it’s possible to reject certified results.”
Every battleground state in this election and the next has a high number of election deniers running: Arizona (12 out of 13 races), Georgia (13 out of 19), Michigan (10 out of 16), Nevada (5 out of 9), Pennsylvania (10 out of 19), and Ohio (11 out of 19). These are also some of the states with key Senate races this cycle, where we could see that warm-up for contesting the 2024 election.
In fact, just like Trump, who has been claiming since 2015 that his loss in any election was because of fraud, the Republican candidates for governor and Senate told The New York Times last month that they would not commit to accepting the results of this year’s election. At least, not if they lose. If they win, just like Trump, it will be a total victory.
If they win either chamber of Congress, it will also mean Trump dominating. “One of the questions about the Republican conference will be, who is the real leader?” said Steven Smith, a political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Except it won’t really be a question. “If the party wins a majority and it seems to be due to the success of the deniers, it’s hard to imagine Trump not taking advantage of this by using his public power to press the conference to follow his wishes.”
RELATED: Republicans don't accept election results. That's not polarization, it's GOP extremism
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