‘Stolen’, ‘stolen’ or ‘tricked’: 2020 presidential election is top election issue for Republicans in Alabama
Jeremy Oden is seeking re-election to the Alabama Public Service Commission, where issues such as setting utility rates and setting parameters for alternative energy are the relevant issues.
But Oden, in a five-minute presentation to the Mobile County GOP on Monday, threw his two cents into the issue of the day for the Republican Party: the 2020 presidential election and popular belief among conservatives according to which former President Donald Trump had a victory “stolen” from him.
“We haven’t lost this race,” Oden said, while illustrating his concerns about President Joe Biden’s energy policies. “It was taken away from us.”
Whether the word is “stolen,” “robbed,” “taken” or “cheated,” Alabama Republicans running for office are questioning the 2020 presidential contest less than two months before the party’s primary on May 24. may.
It has become arguably the most dominant issue in the primary contest, even though political office has little or nothing to do with certifying an election.
The latest to enter the fray is incumbent Governor Kay Ivey, who despite a comfortable lead in the polls, released a campaign spot this week accusing liberals, the media and tech companies of stealing the election from Trump.
“Here in Alabama, we’re making sure that never happens,” she said, vowing to verify the results and ban “corrupt” curbside voting.
His announcement follows that of Lindy Blanchard, a leading opponent of Ivey and former Trump ambassador to Slovenia, who said the election was “stolen” from the former president. The Blanchard ad accuses Ivey of thinking Biden’s victory “was legit.”
Election integrity has also moved to the forefront of the concerns of the two leading candidates for the US Senate – Mike Durant and Katie Britt.
According to political observers, that’s understandable since Trump’s endorsement in the Senate contest looms. Trump withdrew his endorsement of Congressman Mo Brooks on March 23, then hinted that a new endorsement was coming.
Polls suggest concerns about the 2020 election remain strong among Republicans, and it’s not just the South. As Montgomery-based pollster Brent Buchanan said, “Most of our Republican primary polls – no matter where they are in the country, from the northwest to the deep south – show that less than 20% of primary voters Republicans believe the election was fair and that Joe Biden was the legitimate winner.
“Hardcore Trump voters believe in the myth,” said Jess Brown, a retired political science professor at Athens State University and a longtime observer of state politics. Alabama. “They feel cheated and the fact that they haven’t won a single administrative hearing or legal proceeding challenging the election in any of those states where it was in jeopardy, it just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter to them. They believe it and therefore it is true and are not going to engage in independent thinking about it.
“Maximize Every Vote”
Ivey’s use of the word “stolen” to describe the 2020 contest came as a surprise even to his political opponents, including Republican auditor Jim Zeigler.
“I’ve never heard her talk about it before…if she did, I missed it,” said Zeigler, a conservative who is running for Alabama secretary of state this year and who clashed with the governor on issues like the gas tax increase to fund a statewide infrastructure program and the use of tolls to fund the Interstate 10 Bridge and Bay project Mobile River in Mobile.
As Zeigler pointed out, Ivey’s poll numbers suggest she’s in a comfortable lead to win the Republican nomination. She is competing against eight opponents, and a a recent poll by Alabama Daily News and Gray Television has it with 46.1% of the overall vote.
It is just 4 percentage points away from avoiding a run-off that would take place on June 21. Three days before the second round, Trump will hold a rally in Birmingham.
“If there’s a runoff for governor, that’s a big thing,” Zeigler said.
David Mowery, a Montgomery-based political consultant, said Ivey was trying to “bolster his ‘MAGA-bonafides'” in an effort to prevent opponents from gaining traction or gaining Trump’s endorsement” they reach a threshold of viability”.
Brown, who also said she was surprised by Ivey’s latest ad, believes it’s a defensive strategy to fend off an issue that could be used against her by Blanchard or the conservative businessman. Tim James.
James (12.4%) and Blanchard (10.4%) poll second and third by far behind Ivey.
“I completely understand Durant and Britt’s incitement (to highlight the 2020 election), but I don’t understand Ivey’s incitement at this point,” Brown said. “His political health is good. I guess she’s trying to maximize every vote.
The fallout from the 2020 presidential race has been called a “big lie” and denounced by political scientists and others as just another conspiracy theory perpetrated by Trump. Biden won 306 votes in the Electoral College, while Trump got 232. Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes.
Trump and others challenging the 2020 election results lost at least 63 lawsuits leading to the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol.
But tight election results in so-called swing states or the presidential battlegrounds of Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia continue to fuel the stolen election theory.
All of those states backed Biden, but Trump supporters believe multiple factors led to a “corrupt” outcome. Among them is the belief that alternatives to in-person voting at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread fraud.
According to a CBS News/YouGuv poll conducted last July, 74% of Trump supporters say there has been widespread fraud in the election, with 72% saying a “much” of that fraud has happened in cities where Democratic voters are more common. Only 14% said the fraud took place in rural areas, where more Tories live.
Terry Lathan, the former chairwoman of the Republican Party of Alabama, said she was concerned about states that had what she believed to be “ineligible voters.” She said she believed that was the case in Pennsylvania, where a state court recently struck down a mail-in ballot law. The decision is being appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
“You won’t hear me talk about Dominion machines or numbers changing in the night or bags in a parking lot, but we’re talking about if a state broke the law, those votes shouldn’t be counted,” Lathan said. “It was absolutely stolen if you don’t count the ineligible voters.”
Durant also thinks another factor cost Trump the election: the lack of national reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, in which emails from the president’s son allegedly link him to business dealings in China. .
Durant, while at the Capitol Journal, claimed that 17% of voters would have changed their vote had they learned of the laptop scandal before the election. This figure was 16%, and was provided by a poll conducted by Media Research Center, an organization funded by the conservatives.
Durant has been criticized in recent days for getting tough on the issue much more than he did a few months ago. In January, he didn’t even mention the issue during his campaign in Huntsville.
Durant also admitted to seeking Trump’s endorsement since becoming available last month.
Durant played down polls that show Trump’s political clout in Alabama waning. A March 16-17 poll by Cygnal showed a drop of nearly 19 percentage points since August among voters who say they want to vote for a Trump-backed candidate.
Still, nearly 40% say they will support a Trump-backed candidate.
“If he approved of me, that would be a game-changer for my campaign,” Durant said.
Said Brown, “There are multiple polls showing that supporting Trump isn’t getting as many Republican votes as it did months ago. But it’s still a big chunk. You’d rather have his approval than not.
Trump’s endorsement of the “stolen” election resonates in polls among the GOP base.
An NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll conducted in October showed that 75% of Republicans say Trump has a legitimate claim that there were real cases of fraud that changed the results of the 2020 contest.
An ABC/Ipsos poll in January showed that 57% of Republicans have little confidence in elections.
Steven Taylor, a professor of political science at the University of Troy, expressed concern about the underlying impact of election lies, polls, and the need for GOP candidates to “comply with 2020 as evidence of loyalty” to Trump.
“All of this is concerning from a Democratic perspective because it means one of our major parties is claiming voter fraud without any real evidence of said fraud,” Taylor said. “It simply erodes confidence in our electoral process. It also begs the question: if we can’t trust the 2020 results, why should we trust the 2022 results? »
Regina Wagner, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama, said the issue matters to voters on both sides of the political spectrum, not just Republicans. National polls suggest Democratic voters are also concerned about election integrity, but from a different perspective. The January ABC/Ipsos poll showed that only 30% of Democrats are very confident in the US election. Their concerns stem from their view that Republicans are politicizing election administration.
“Both see themselves as defenders of democracy,” Wagner said. “In one of the great ironies of our time, supporters of the Big Lie conspiracy almost certainly sincerely believe that they are the champions of electoral integrity.”
She added, “With much of the Republican elite unwilling to push this away for fear of angering Trump, this could indeed be a major issue in 2022.”