Future of U.S. elections is on the table in 2022, due to the fact that the former president Donald Trump can't let go of his past.
"The single biggest issue -- the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers -- is talking about the election fraud of 2020's presidential election," Trump declared last week during a rally in Iowa and pushed the idea that Biden's second term was stolen from him , and claims that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.
The next election year will feature races in the next year's governor- and secretary-of state races for Congress and even to state legislative seats Republicans looking to win Trump's backing have been embracing these absurd assertions. Democrats are eager to build their supporters in an difficult political environment and admonish GOP candidates as proponents who propagate "the Big Lie."
More Republican leaders are embracing Trump's 2020 lies
OCT. 11, 202103:30
The issue is driving elections in the race for secretary of Statean office is responsible for overseeing elections in many states and is a battleground for elections which narrowly backed Biden in the race against Trump in the 2020 election and is expected to be a hotly debated issue during the 2024 presidential election.
In the end, whether they realize it or not, voters may render a final verdict on the conspiracy theories Trump and his associates have spent the last 11 months cultivating.
"I'm the only candidate in this race who's willing to stand up all over Ohio, and all over America, and say that I believe the election was stolen from Donald J. Trump," Josh Mandel, an Ohio Republican Senate candidate from Ohio who has declared the stolen election lie the centerpiece of his campaign, said to NBC News.
"It's the right thing to do for our country," Mandel said, in response to a question about whether he was concerned that his position would affect his chances in a general election. "And I don't care how it impacts me politically."
In the race for Arizona's the post of secretary of state Trump supports Mark Finchem, the state legislator who advocated the partisan review of Maricopa County's electoral results, which confirmed Biden's victory. Then, in Georgia, Trump is supporting Rep. Jody Hice in an Republican primary to remove Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state who refused to bow to Trump's demands to alter Georgia's vote for 2020 to his advantage.
"We're no longer looking at candidates who are attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election," Bee Nguyen who is the Democratic State Representative and running to be secretary of state for Georgia said about Republicans who are running in 2022. "They're setting us up for 2024."
Governors race have also attracted Trump's interest. In a highly competitive GOP primaries in Arizona He recently supported Kari Lake who was an ex- TV anchor, who has stated that she wouldn't have endorsed Biden's win. While he hasn't yet announced his support for a candidate in Georgia but he has made a commitment to oust Republican Governor. Brian Kemp, who like Raffensperger rejected Trump's demands to sabotage the 2020 election.
"We have people who are running explicitly on the platform that the election results would have turned out different if they were in power in 2020, and I think it's going to be up to the voters in the place where they do elect their election officials to say, regardless of party, it's not acceptable to politicize the elections," Larry Norden director of the reform of elections program of the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice, said.
For the state of Georgia, Hice has held himself up as a unabashed Trump supporter.
"Nobody understands the disaster of the lack of election integrity like the people of Georgia, and now is our hour to take it back," Hice addressed the crowd following Trump invited him to speak during his recent rally in Georgia. "We've got incredible leadership from President Trump, and we need this kind of leadership again."
Trump is also announcing Kristina Karamo as who is a Detroit candidate for the 2020 presidential election, to be Secretary of State in Michigan in Michigan, in which Democratic candidate Jocelyn Benson and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are top GOP candidates next year. Karamo led a rally Wednesday at the Michigan Capitol, where speakers promoted a smear campaign against voter fraud and called for an Arizona-style review of elections.
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Secretary of State races are usually a bit sluggish, with candidates with less recognition who are dependent on the party's governors or Senate to get them to their finish lines. Trump's involvement in the race could alter this, according to Trey Grayson, a Republican and former secretary of state from Kentucky.
"He appears to be picking his own team based upon the criteria that I'll call the lie about the 2020 election," Grayson said. "I don't think we've ever seen anything like this."
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is running for governor in 2022. believes there's an "appetite for accountability" that has elevated state secretaries like her, who have been pushing back against GOP election slander.