The Democratic tent might be too big-- I think it is; a progressive party representing working families can't be held back by piles of garbage reeking of corruption like Manchin, Sinema, Schrader, Gottheimer, etc-- but the Republican Party pup tent is still shrinking. The whole Cyber Ninja fake "audit" results yesterday aren't going to help, either. Trump appears desperate and frustrated in his devil-may-care quest to undermine the 2020 election regardless of the damage it does to American democracy and to his own political party, two abstract concepts he doesn't care about in the slightest. His "audit" found Biden with even more votes-- and him with even fewer-- than was originally reported by Maricopa County.
To put it mildly, Señor Trumpanzee, is spinning like mad, determined to change the media narrative that the "adit" proves he lost-- and even bigger than originally thought. So he pressured Greg Abbott into another absurd audit-- in a state Trump won, to accomplish what? Just more undermining confidence in America's electoral system and in democracy in general. And depressing turnout... among Republican voters. Trump watched the Arizona coverage from his Mar-a-Lago exile and in statements, pretended to be uplifted, hailing the results as a "big win for democracy and a big win for us."
Tonight he'll be riling up his fascist base in central Georgia. The show tonight is at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, a tiny city partially in Houston County and partially in Peach County. Aside from Trump, this fall sees other over the hill has-been entertainers like Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, The Commodores, Clay Walker and 98 Degrees. Anyway, no need for recounts in those counties-- Trump won them both, though not overwhelmingly. Georgia doesn't provide county stats on vaccination rates but the state is just 45% fully vaccinated, don't be surprised if Trump's rally tonight don't turn into another super-spreader event.
Politico reported yesterday that Republican candidates up and down the ballot in state after state are adopting Trump’s phony claims about fraud and stolen elections. "The takeaway is that this was a colossal waste of time," said Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is now running for governor, "And anyone who is considering replicating it in their state, or taking further action based on this report, should not be considered a serious leader."
“Voters are demanding it,” Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington said. “It’s the number one issue of concern we hear.”
Trump’s obsession with the 2020 election and his efforts to undermine the results, said a Trump aide, “will never be dropped. I think he believes it, and number two, it is a rallying point for the base. It’s something a lot of his supporters believe in.”
According to a September CNN poll, 78 percent of Republicans say Biden did not win and 54 percent believe there is evidence to support that belief.
...Trump allies are forging ahead. State Rep. Mark Finchem-- whose campaign for Arizona secretary of state has been endorsed by Trump-- immediately called for an audit for Pima County, the second-largest county in the state that is heavily Democratic.
Reid Epstein and Nick Corasaniti, reporting for the NY Times on the same topic yesterday, noted that "for those who have tried to undermine confidence in American elections and restrict voting, the actual findings of the Maricopa County review that were released on Friday did not appear to matter in the slightest. Former President Donald J. Trump and his loyalists redoubled their efforts to mount a full-scale relitigation of the 2020 election. Any fleeting thought that the failure of the Arizona exercise to unearth some new trove of Trump votes or a smoking gun of election fraud might derail the so-called Stop the Steal movement dissipated abruptly. As draft copies of the report began to circulate late Thursday, Trump allies ignored the new tally, instead zeroing in on the report’s specious claims of malfeasance, inconsistencies and errors by election officials. Significant parts of the right treated the completion of the Arizona review as a vindication-- offering a fresh canard to justify an accelerated push for new voting limits and measures to give Republican state lawmakers greater control over elections. It also provided additional fuel for the older lie that is now central to Trump’s political identity: that the 2020 election was stolen from him."
Now, as Mr. Trump continues to deny Mr. Biden’s legitimacy, Republicans around the country have embarked on a mission to upend the electoral process. They have sought to give Republican-controlled state legislatures more control over how American elections are run; aggressively pushed to limit voting, passing more than 30 such laws in 18 states; and recruited candidates who have espoused election conspiracy theories to run for positions like secretary of state and county clerk.
Support for election reviews like Arizona’s has become a litmus test in Republican primary elections.
“Arizona must decertify!” former Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri, who is in a crowded G.O.P. primary for an open Senate seat in the state, wrote on Twitter on Friday. “We MUST have forensic audits across the country!”
Even candidates in states Mr. Trump won easily last year have echoed his calls to revisit the results.
“In states like OHIO where Trump won by massive margins, he probably actually won by even larger margins were it not for the Democrat cheating,” Josh Mandel, a Republican running for Senate in Ohio, said on Twitter.
Democrats, voting rights advocates and moderate Republicans reacted to the Arizona election report’s release with a mix of resignation and fury, calling the endeavor a waste of time, money and attention. But some darkly expressed an understanding that the flow of lies about the 2020 election would not ebb.
Katie Hobbs, who as the Democratic secretary of state in Arizona pushed back forcefully on the review, wrote in a fund-raising appeal that “I wish I could tell you that I’m excited to put all this to rest, but I’m not naïve.” Ms. Hobbs, who is running for governor in 2022, added, “I know far-right Republicans and conspiracy theorists will continue to come after me regardless of the results.”
In some states where Republicans control the levers of government, the effort to undermine confidence in elections has been incorporated into official policy.