A majority of Republican midterm candidates running for major state or federal office don’t fully accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, a new analysis finds.
According to The Washington Post299 candidates for House, Senate or key state offices of governor, lieutenant governor or secretary of state have denied or publicly questioned the election results that saw Joe Biden elected president. This represents a majority vote of all candidates for these offices, which oversee a portion of election administration.
These candidates are on the ballots in nearly every state in the nation. Only two states, Rhode Island, and North Dakota, have candidates who deny or partially deny the election results. The publication has found that four states have nominated Republican voters who are election denier candidates for every race.
The majority — 174 — of these candidates are running in safe elections, while 51 are running in tight races. This means that it’s possible they view election denial as a strategy that could win them votes — or, potentially, that they’re planning to deny the results of their own elections if voters reject them.
For a separate survey Washington Post analysisLast month, 12 of the 19 Republican candidates in close gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races refused their acceptance of the outcome. They were opposed by 19 Democrats who said they would accept the results, regardless of whether they won.
The report is in line with An ongoing analysisBy FiveThirtyEightIt is found that there are 263GOP candidates for the same office, except the lieutenant governor, deny or partially accept the election result. This analysis shows that 60 percent or more of Americans will vote for election doubters and deniers this fall.
FiveThirtyEight also found that election deniers and doubters outnumber the candidates who don’t lie about the result of the election; there are 256 candidates who refuse to accept the result and only 158 who do.
That election deniers make up such a large proportion of the Republican Party and its candidates is an alarming show of the right’s open embrace of fascism and anti-democratic principles, experts say.
“Election denialism is a form of corruption,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University historian and fascism expert, told The Washington Post. “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.”
It could have devastating consequences if these election deniers are elected to office.
Electing such people into office could accelerate the U.S.’s path into fascism, putting the power of election administration into the hands of people who may use it to install whichever political leaders they prefer; an election-denying secretary of state, for instance, Could refuse to certify election results they don’t favor. An influx of election deniers in Congress, meanwhile, means that there could be more lawmakers who vote to overturn the result of the 2024 presidential election if Donald Trump or another far right Republican doesn’t win.