An NBC News survey last month suggested that 11 percent of U.S. adults view election integrity as a top-two issue, trailing issues like jobs and the economy, the pandemic, immigration, climate change, taxes, and spending.
But if you ask Republican campaign consultants and candidates, they’re expressing real concern that GOP turnout in the 2022 midterms will be down because of Donald Trump’s insistence that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, which is leading some conservatives to believe it makes no difference if they vote.
As candidates at the state level hold town halls looking to improve their chances on the primaries, they are hearing from attendees that they think Trump had the 2020 election stolen from him and are asking why they should bother to come out on Election Day if the vote is just “rigged” from the beginning. According to NBC, candidates are being asked if they believe the 2020 election results were bogus and, if they state they see no evidence of fraud, are facing furious pushback from the voters they hope to claim.
During interview with Kevin McCarthy, Maria Bartiromo turns the big lie on its head with an extremely leading question suggesting the 2022 midterms will be rigged to prevent Republicans from taking the House majority pic.twitter.com/oG9aUktVUE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 10, 2021
An Economist/YouGov poll conducted last month found that 86 percent of Trump voters said they will “definitely” or are “likely” to vote this fall, compared to just 6 percent who said they probably or definitely won’t. But other surveys have suggested that Republican voters who believe President Joe Biden’s victory was illegitimate are more excited to vote this year than Republicans who don’t believe the election was stolen. The GOP has cause to worry when more and more Trump loyalists seem determined to sit out the election cycle. At a rally in Michigan, one Trump voter bluntly told NBC’s Alan Smith, “Unless we fix what went down — and I voted ever since I was able to vote — I’m pretty well done. I mean, what’s the point? I think the whole damn thing is corrupt.”
Tinfoil hat time: The View co-host Ana Navarro presses Jen Psaki with an unhinged conspiracy theory that the results of the 2022 midterms will not be free, fair, and legitimate.
"So without reforms, why should voters have faith in the legitimacy of the next election?" pic.twitter.com/h3cI6Ref8z
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) January 21, 2022
That sentiment could make a difference in Republicans winning or losing races. In Georgia’s Senate runoff elections in January 2021, constant fraud claims by Trump and his allies were seen to have played a role in dampening GOP turnout enough to have allowed for one — if not both — Democratic victories. Among President Biden’s voters, 80 percent said they were certain or likely to vote, compared to 9 percent who said they were likely or certain not to.
In Ohio, they want to rig the court so they can rig elections. And they just come on out and admit it…to the Court!
Why? Because here and elsewhere, rigged statehouses are the key to everything else they do.
(Advice: Sit down before watching)
— David Pepper (@DavidPepper) February 2, 2022
Still, the side pushing the Big Lie is finding it hard to get their base to turn out at the polls, to the point that even the most vocal of Trump’s supporters are finding themselves begging their base to vote. In a virtual town hall late last year, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told supporters, “There’s been some big negative voices that have been saying terrible things,” she said. “They’ve been telling people not to vote in the next election. And I think that is the biggest lie. If anyone is telling you not to vote, they’re helping the enemy. We have to vote.”