Among the more than 150 Holocaust deniers who reportedly won at midnight: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Rep. Greg Pence (Ind.), the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence.
But some of the most outspoken Holocaust deniers suffered defeat in races that had been deemed winnable for Republicans earlier this year, including Doug Mastriano, who lost his bid for governor of Pennsylvania.
Candidates who questioned or refused to accept President Biden’s victory — 51% of 569 GOP candidates analyzed by The Washington Post, 291 total — ran in every region of the country and in nearly every state .
Most of the victorious Holocaust deniers campaigned on a range of issues, including inflation, abortion and crime. The voters who supported them did not necessarily do so because of their stance on 2020. But the candidates’ views on election integrity could have lasting consequences for American democracy.
The winning candidates for Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General will take on positions with significant power to oversee US elections. Unofficial projections on Tuesday showed election deniers would make up a sizable majority in the House Republican caucus, with huge sway over who chooses the nation’s next speaker if Republicans claim control of the chamber. The speaker would in turn preside over the House in 2024, when the presidential vote could again be contested.
Follow-up of Holocaust deniers who win, lose midterm
Tuesday’s result reflects the delicate political calculus of election denial within the GOP. It was a virtual requirement for many Republican candidates seeking party nomination, given the importance of an endorsement from Trump. Prominent Republicans who challenged the former president, including Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), were defeated by internal party challenges.
But it was not clear that claiming the 2020 election was rigged benefited candidates in a close general election.
Among the winning deniers on Tuesday was Jen A. Kiggans, a Republican from Virginia who defeated Rep. Elaine Luria — a member, like Cheney, of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. One of Luria’s main pitches to voters this fall was the need to quell the anti-democratic forces that propelled the violence that day.
Luria continued on that theme in her concession speech on Tuesday. When she mentioned her opponent and supporters booing, she said, “No, please don’t boo. The success of this district depends on its success.
Election deniers were also expected to lose some competitive races. JR Majewski, a House candidate in Ohio who attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and was trying to unseat U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, was among those defeated.
New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc lost to incumbent U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan after switching between declaring the 2020 election stolen and legit.
Mastriano lost by a wide margin to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro despite the state being one of the most politically contested in the nation. Of the roughly 6 in 10 Pennsylvania voters who viewed the 2020 election as legitimate, more than 8 in 10 voted for Shapiro, according to exit polls. Of the roughly one-third of voters who felt it was fraudulent, about 9 in 10 backed Mastriano.
The Post identified candidates as Holocaust deniers if they directly questioned Biden’s victory, opposed Biden’s Electoral College vote count, expressed support for partisan scrutiny of the post-election ballot, signed lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 result, or were attending or expressing support. for the Stop the Steal rally in Washington that preceded the Capitol riot.
Majority of GOP candidates deny or question 2020 election results
Tuesday’s election came amid growing concerns about American democracy, with about 7 in 10 voters saying American democracy is ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ in jeopardy, according to a poll by EdisonResearch. At the same time, voters expressed greater confidence that elections in their state will be conducted fairly and accurately. About 8 in 10 voters said they were very or somewhat confident that elections in their state would be fair and accurate.
Jacque Rose, a registered Republican and “mainly Republican” voter from Boise, Idaho, said in an interview Tuesday that she sometimes splits her post. The retiree joined a steady stream of voters in a short line at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Boise, explaining her vote was against extremism.
“I’m scared of what some of these right-wingers are doing to us,” she said. “And I’m in a red state and I’m scared.”
Edward B. Foley, an election rights scholar at Ohio State University, said the success of so many election deniers is concerning, but there remains a lot of uncertainty about how these incumbents will use their power. He noted that some election deniers on the ballot this year balked, making it unclear how they would act once in office.
Foley also suggested that Holocaust deniers’ acceptance of their own victories could, in some ways, bolster public confidence in their states’ elections.
“The goal is for valid wins to be authenticated as valid, and none of these perversions prevail,” he said. “I don’t want to sweeten that unduly. We are in troubled waters. It will be all the more difficult as there are more Holocaust deniers in power. But it is not inevitable that the ship will sink.
Hundreds of election officials across the country sought to dispel suspicions about election security ahead of Tuesday – and some of them, including several on the ballot, continued that work as the vote was beginning.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) was in a competitive race Tuesday against Holocaust denier Kristina Karamo, who claimed without proof that she witnessed fraud as a Detroit pollwatcher in 2020. Benson spent much of Tuesday battling false allegations of wrongdoing — including Trump’s claims.
“There are always things that could potentially be seized that really have no impact on the electoral process itself and would otherwise be minor,” Benson said. “I think voters just need to see this for what it is – a political strategy that some have chosen to pursue at the expense of who we are as Americans and our democracy.”
Some of the most prominent Holocaust deniers on this year’s ballot included state-level job seekers who would have broad power to influence the administration and possibly the results of future elections: Kari Lake for Governor of the Arizona, Jim Marchant for Nevada Secretary of State and Matthew DePerno for Michigan Attorney General.
All offered wholehearted support for Trump’s bogus 2020 fraud allegations. Biden. Lake said his opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs, should be jailed for certifying Biden’s victory in Arizona. Marchant has vowed to decertify Biden’s 2020 victory in Nevada and wants to enforce statewide hand counting.
No winner had been projected in those races as of 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Among the winners who had been projected at this hour was Eric Schmitt, the Republican candidate for the US Senate from Missouri who will replace incumbent Roy Blunt (R). Blunt had voted to certify Biden’s victory, citing court rulings dismissing Trump’s fraud allegations.
Another is Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), who shared refuted claims about the 2020 result on talk radio.
“How is it possible that in Pennsylvania there are 200,000 more votes on Election Day than there were [voters] in the electoral lists? she asked.
Some voters said concern for electoral integrity was a major motivating factor in their selections this year.
Chip Johnson, 65, who voted Tuesday in Madison, Mississippi, said he believed voter fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election. He paused before saying he believed Trump had won, but said, “I just think there’s a lot of unscrupulous voting,” before referring to several issues that have been debunked, including dead people’s voting.
“Even if it’s true or not, it suggests that things are not right,” he said. “It’s as if the truth is no longer relevant. It’s like the truth is what I say.
Some of the year’s most prominent Holocaust deniers claimed victory on Tuesday. Among them: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida) — two close Trump allies who have repeatedly made false claims about the 2020 outcome.
These candidates also attacked the work of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack — and pledged to reject the committee’s subpoena seeking Trump’s testimony if Republicans regain a majority in the presidential election. bedroom.
However, other investigations into Trump’s actions around January 6 will continue, including a criminal investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, following his January 2, 2021 phone call asking the Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse Biden’s victory in the state. The Justice Department is also investigating whether Trump improperly interfered in the outcome of the 2020 election.
Sarah Fowler in Madison, Mississippi; Tom Hamburger in Detroit; and Carissa Wolf in Boise, Idaho, contributed to this report.
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