Following up from last week's post.
Just to be clear, these posts are making any predictions about any upcoming races. Instead, this is one more data point in our long-running thread about how Straussianism's reliance on propaganda and disinformation can yield impressive results at first, but it's fundamentally unstable. Sooner or later the wrong people start believing the lies and you lose control of the narrative.
From Talking Points Memo.
“I choose not to vote in another fraudulent election with rigged voting machines & fake mail ballots,” Lin Wood, an attorney suing elections officials over wild fraud accusations in Georgia, tweeted Sunday night. By Monday morning, he asserted the January runoff elections “will have to [be] replaced with [a] new down ballot election.”
It’s difficult to tell how widespread the Trump dead-ender phenomenon is. “Anyone who thinks the election is rigged will shy away from polls for the same reason,” Jeffrey Lewis Lazarus, a political science professor at Georgia State University, told TPM.
But while Lazarus said it’s nearly impossible to poll the effect of voters’ doubts about election integrity, he noted some warning signs for the GOP, pointing to an episode over the weekend involving GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel.
At an event in Marietta on Saturday, one Republican voter made a comment to McDaniel referring to evil forces “switching the votes” away from Trump and Pence: “We go there in crazy numbers and they should have won!”
Another person chimed in after him: Why bother expending “money and work, when it’s already decided?” she asked.
“It’s not decided!” McDaniel pleaded.
“How do you know!” the woman shot back.
“There were several people in the audience who were convinced the November election was rigged,” Lazarus said — people who, it appeared, “wanted to vote for Trump on January 5 and wanted to overturn the results of the election.” That’s evidence that at least some Republican voters are buying into the Trump camp’s conspiracy peddling and doubting the validity of the election, he added.
That schism within the party, Lazarus said, could prove additionally problematic for Republicans. A civil war with Republicans like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on one side and Trump and Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) on the other “has the potential to cause some problems with GOP messaging.”
But the Powell and Wood are hardly alone: Ali Alexander, the far-right organizer of various “Stop the Steal” protests around the country, including a recent demonstration in Georgia, told the Daily Beast recently that Trump supporters would boycott the runoff unless Perdue and Loeffler called for a special legislative session to investigate the results of the presidential election.
“Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue can either do what we said, because we are their voters, we are their donors, we are their volunteers, or we literally won’t vote,” he said, before characterizing the typical GOP counterargument: “‘Oh, but Ali, then Democrats will take the Senate?’ I would rather an enemy in my face than a traitor behind.”