The disconnect between GOP expectations and polling all but ensures that a tight Newsom victory would spur a new wave of voter fraud accusations.
OAKLAND — 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.
Republican frontrunner and talk show host Larry Elder, who has denied that President Joe Biden fairly won the 2020 election, is among those fomenting the idea of a tainted recall election. He has urged his followers to report “suspicious” recall activity, while saying he was preemptively prepared to file a lawsuit.
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