No matter what the ridiculous audit process of the 2020 vote in Arizona produces — and we are expecting to know sometime in the next few weeks — the next front in the effort to claim that the presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump is already forming in Wisconsin.
Late last month state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced the expansion of a taxpayer-funded investigation into the 2020 election — appointing a former Wisconsin state Supreme Court justice to oversee it.
That lead investigator is Michael Gableman, who traveled last week to South Dakota to attend MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s cyber-symposium in which, allegedly, proof of widespread election fraud would be presented. (It, um, wasn’t.)
“I learned a lot there that will be helpful to my investigation,” Gableman told The Associated Press of the South Dakota trip. (Back in November, he claimed at a pro-Trump rally that the election was stolen.)
That investigation, Vos said recently, could cost several hundred thousand dollars.
Wisconsin is fertile ground for the Big Lie — for two main reasons.
First, the race in the state between former President Trump and President Joe Biden was quite close. Biden won the state by 20,682 votes out of more than 3 million cast. (A recount, completed at the end of November, confirmed Biden’s win.)
Second, the state is probably the single most polarized one in the country. That’s the result of a triptych of gubernatorial elections in the past decade: Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) initial win in 2010, his victory in a nationalized recall effort in 2012 and his reelection in 2014.
Those races saw massive amounts of spending from national groups to ID every single Democratic and Republican voter in the state. And the seemingly endless campaign also served to essentially eliminate any on-the-fence independent voters. And people who were already partisans were driven even further into their party camps.
The Point: Trump’s Big Lie needs fuel to keep going. And Wisconsin Republicans are more than willing to provide it.