Glenn Youngkin, the Republican backstage equity enforcement locked successful a choky Virginia governor’s contention with erstwhile Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), has said during debates that helium would “absolutely” judge the results of Tuesday’s predetermination were helium to lose.
But immoderate of Youngkin’s astir ardent right-wing allies and supporters bash not consciousness the aforesaid way. In the week starring up to Election Day, respective of Youngkin’s salient right-wing supporters ― including immoderate who’ve acted arsenic surrogates for his run ― person acceptable the signifier to assertion that Democrats fraudulently stole the election.
With polls tightening successful caller weeks, the Virginia governor’s contention is a toss-up that either campaigner could win, and the communicative successful Virginia and nationally suggests that Youngkin has momentum and enthusiasm connected his broadside heading into the race’s last 24 hours.
In that environment, Youngkin’s right-wing allies person erstwhile again primed blimpish voters to judge that there’s nary mode a Democratic campaigner similar McAuliffe could prevail unless there is fraud, adjacent successful a authorities wherever Democrats person won each statewide predetermination since 2009, including 2 governor’s races, 4 statesmanlike contests, and aggregate races for lieutenant politician and lawyer general. Even if Youngkin were to suffer and concede the contention to McAuliffe, it seems inevitable that immoderate of his astir influential backers volition garbage to judge defeat.
The loudest of those claims person travel from Amanda Chase, the Virginia authorities legislator who faced ceremonial censure earlier this twelvemonth aft she attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that precipitated the insurrection astatine the U.S. Capitol, and who has repeatedly lied astir wide predetermination fraud successful the 2020 contention erstwhile President Donald Trump lost.
Chase has utilized vigor interviews, Facebook and different platforms to dispersed elaborate and convoluted conspiracy theories astir Democratic plots to “steal” the Virginia election, the biggest contention to instrumentality spot since Trump’s nonaccomplishment past year.
But she is not alone: At a caller run event, state euphony vocalist John Rich insisted that a Youngkin nonaccomplishment would beryllium the effect of fraud portion sharing a signifier with the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and blimpish vigor big John Fredericks person suggested that Democrats are attempting to bargain the race. And Trump himself has dispersed the aforesaid aged lies.
“I americium not a believer successful the integrity of Virginia’s elections,” Trump said successful a connection Monday morning, adding that “lots of atrocious things went on, are going on.”
The blatant lies successful the days up of the Virginia contention item the lingering dangers posed by steadfast Republican refusals to archer the information astir the 2020 election: that Trump mislaid a just and morganatic contest, and that elector fraud is simply a uncommon occurrence that has not marred immoderate caller American election. Thanks to Trump and the GOP’s repetition of specified falsehoods, astir fractional of Republican voters believe that Trump won the 2020 race, and are acceptable to travel their enactment successful treating immoderate Democratic triumph arsenic inherently illegitimate.
Youngkin successful May said that Biden won the election, and reiterated astatine a gubernatorial statement that determination “wasn’t worldly fraud” during the 2020 contest. But helium has refused to refute conspiracy theories dispersed by voters astatine his events oregon his ain surrogates. He has insisted that “election integrity” is the astir important contented successful the contention alternatively than a codification connection for GOP conspiracy theories and predetermination lies. And helium has continued campaigning alongside lawmakers similar Chase, who transitioned seamlessly from claiming that past year’s predetermination was stolen to saying that this 1 volition be.
The precocious polling plaything toward Youngkin has lone fueled these efforts.
“Everything’s moving successful Youngkin’s absorption and the Republicans but a batch of radical fearfulness that this is going to get stolen,” Fredericks, the blimpish vigor big whose amusement has turned into a level for incessant conspiracy-mongering implicit the last weeks of the election, said connected his Oct. 27 show. “They’re gonna effort and cheat. We’ve got each kinds of irregularities present going connected successful Fairfax County.”
Fairfax County, an affluent bluish Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., that has swung toward Democrats successful caller elections, has emerged arsenic the focal constituent of right-wing conspiracies. Fredericks has suggested that Fairfax is an epicenter of fraud aggregate times connected his amusement since Oct. 27, portion bringing connected salient guests to repetition the baseless claims.
Retired Col. John Mills, a erstwhile Trump medication official, suggested during 1 quality that Democrats and predetermination officials are moving successful performance to perpetrate absentee ballot fraud successful the county.
“Fairfax is the Fulton County, Georgia, of Virginia,” Mills said connected the Oct. 27 show, referring to the largest region successful Georgia that was cardinal to President Joe Biden’s 2020 triumph successful the state. Republicans person baselessly asserted that wide mail-in ballot fraud occurred determination successful 2020, and person utilized those claims to warrant a partisan attempt to instrumentality over the Fulton County predetermination board.
No specified fraud really took spot successful Fulton County oregon anyplace other successful Georgia, a information predetermination reviews, manus recounts and the state’s Republican politician and caput authorities person repeatedly confirmed. The ground for Fredericks’ and Mills’ claims, meanwhile, is simply a suit that claims Fairfax County elections officials improperly accepted absentee ballots during the aboriginal voting period.
A justice dismissed the suit connected Friday.
On Oct. 28, Fredericks utilized his amusement to claim, without evidence, that predetermination officials successful different counties person helped Democrats “go into nursing homes and extract votes from radical that were incapacitated,” a baseless assertion that mimics Trump and different conservatives’ claims that Democrats mined votes from dormant and different incapacitated voters past year. (That, too, is simply a lie.)
Bannon, who has called Virginia an important trial of the spot of Trump’s Make America Great Again movement, utilized Fredericks’ Oct. 29 amusement to importune that Democrats are “going to steal” the election, due to the fact that “they can’t triumph elections they don’t steal.”
During that appearance, Bannon besides reiterated the prevarication that the 2020 predetermination was stolen from Trump, and dispersed conspiracy theories astir expected fraud successful Pennsylvania, Arizona and Wisconsin, each states wherever regular and regular audits, recounts and reviews of past year’s contention person recovered zero grounds of fraud and confirmed Trump’s defeat.
Chase has appeared astatine events with Youngkin. She, Bannon and Fredericks attended a rally alongside GOP lieutenant politician campaigner Winsome Sears past period wherever attendees pledged allegiance to a emblem carried astatine the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Youngkin condemned that episode, and has astatine times tried to support arm’s-length region from the astir explicitly conspiratorial assertions made by surrogates similar Chase. But his run has not denounced them adjacent erstwhile fixed the chance, and astatine times, his supporters person asserted that Democrats are engaged successful predetermination thievery portion connected signifier with Youngkin himself.
Rich, the state euphony singer, claimed astatine an Oct. 27 get-out-the-vote rally successful Blacksburg, Virginia, that California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) won his September callback race done fraud, contempt a borderline of triumph of more than 3 cardinal votes. He besides falsely claimed erstwhile Georgia authorities Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), who has campaigned for McAuliffe successful Virginia, was liable for a nationwide Democratic predetermination theft scheme.
“I astir bought an flat successful Virginia conscionable truthful I could ballot for him, you know, bash it similar Stacey Abrams does,” Rich said astatine the event. “Why the hellhole is Stacey Abrams successful Virginia close now? What is that? What is she doing up here?”
“We cognize what she’s doing up here,” Rich continued. “Do you truly deliberation California voted for Gavin Newsom again? I don’t deliberation so. Stacey Abrams was astir apt retired determination too.”
Youngkin antecedently responded to Chase’s predetermination conspiracies by saying helium hasn’t spoken to her astir the issues she has raised.
“I haven’t heard from the legislator connected this one, truthful I don’t know,” helium told reporters connected Oct. 28. “But fto maine conscionable archer you what we’re doing due to the fact that I judge this predetermination volition beryllium fair, I judge this predetermination volition travel retired large clip successful our favor. We’ve got immense amounts of momentum and astatine the extremity of the time we’re going to get a batch much votes than the different guy.”
Youngkin said his run has tally a “great predetermination operations system” and that helium believed votes “will beryllium counted fairly.”
He has besides antecedently said helium would respect the results of the race, adjacent if McAuliffe wins.
“I judge we’re going to get 50%-plus successful bid to win,” Youngkin told a elector who asked him to committedness not to concede astatine an August run event, according to the Virginia Scope. “I can’t committedness you I won’t concede, due to the fact that I’m going to really bash what’s champion for Virginia. … If I extremity up uncovering myself successful a condition wherever we’ve mislaid but what’s close for Virginia is for maine to concede, I’ll concede.”