News Update

Analysis: Why 2024 is going to be *way* worse than 2020

1. Donald Trump is likely to run.
2. Donald Trump is likely to be the Republican nominee.
3. If he loses (again), Donald Trump will say the election was rigged and a fraud.
4. The vast majority of Republican voters will believe him.
It’s that last point that is, to me, the scariest — and the one that makes clear that what happened in the wake of the 2020 election will look like a dress rehearsal compared to what’s coming in 2024.
A new poll by Marist College for NPR and PBS drives home just how successful Trump has been in selling the Big Lie (that the election was stolen) and in seeding distrust and doubt in GOP voters about future election outcomes.

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Just 1 in 3 Republicans say that they will trust that the 2024 results are “accurate” even if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. (By contrast 82% of Democrats and 68% of independents say the same.)
While that number is the most stunning, it’s far from the only number in the poll that should be cause for concern as we look to future national elections.
* Two thirds of Republican respondents said they have little to no trust that elections are fair.
* Asked what the biggest threat to fair elections is, 34% of Republicans said it was voter fraud while 29% cited “vote tampering by the opposing political party.”
* Three quarters of Republicans say that Trump has continued to contest the 2020 results because “mostly because he is right, there were real cases of fraud that changed the results.”
It’s probably worth noting here two things: 1) There is ZERO evidence of widespread voter fraud either nationally or in any swing state in 2020 and 2) There is ZERO evidence in any national election of widespread voter fraud.
And yet, lots and lots of Republicans believe not only that the 2020 election was fraudulent but that future elections will be too — because, well, Donald Trump told them it was true.
“We must win bigger than the margin of fraud by flooding the polls with those that believe in America First,” Trump said of the Virginia governor’s race in a message to supporters Monday night.
This is a very bad thing — and decidedly dangerous. The fundamental tenet at the heart of American democracy is that whether your favored candidate wins or loses, you can have faith that it represents the will of a majority of the public. That the election was conducted in a fair and transparent way, and that the winner actually, you know, won.
A large majority of voters affiliated with one of the two major political parties in this country no longer believes that. And, because their belief is based on no actual evidence, it’s extremely difficult to see how they can be convinced they are, in fact, dead wrong in their conclusions about both the 2020 election and future elections.
Yes, there have always been voters on the losing end of an election who claim they — and their candidate — were cheated. But the sheer number of Republicans now willing to say that is startling. And, as January 6 proved, a belief that you are being cheated by faceless elites can lead directly to violence.
Add it all up and you have a potential nightmare scenario for 2024 in which Trump stokes talk of election fraud among a Republican base who already believes they are likely to be cheated out of victory. That sort of scenario directly endangers the peaceful transition of power Americans have prided ourselves on for centuries.
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