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Are Republicans going to claim fraud in every election they lose from now on?

On Monday, Larry Elder, a right-wing talk radio host running to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom if the incumbent is recalled, announced not only that he had lost and Newsom would remain governor, but that Newsom’s victory — which hadn’t yet occurred — was the result of fraud.

photo of larry elder
I have no idea how many Californians will believe Elder’s ludicrously premature fraud claim.
REUTERS/Mike Blake

As you may have noticed, the California election to decide whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom is today.

As you may also have noticed, following the lead of their disgraced Trumpian leader, many Republicans no longer accept the results of elections they lose. (We should be seriously concerned about this. It ranks high on the list of threats to the future health of our democracy.)

But Larry Elder, a right-wing talk radio host running to replace Newsom if the incumbent is recalled, and once considered a leading contender to do so, announced not only that he had lost and Newsom would remain governor, but that Newsom’s victory, which hadn’t yet occurred, was the result of fraud.

Elder’s statement (again I emphasize that it was issued before Election Day) said, in part, that:

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Statistical analyses used to detect fraud in elections held in 3rd-world nations (such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor… The primary analytical tool used was Benford’s Law and can be readily reproduced.

But the election (again I emphasize that it was released on Monday, prior to Election Day) isn’t until today.

This is both silly and serious. Silly to announce that an election was stolen when it hasn’t occurred yet. Serious if it means that Americans, especially, apparently, Republicans, are going to be told from now on, in the same way they were by former “President” Donald J. Youknowwhom, that every election is fraudulent unless they win.

I have no idea how many Californians will believe Elder’s ludicrously premature fraud claim. But most Republicans say, at least in polls, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen because Youknowhom continues to say, not only that it was, but that he would soon be reinstated when the fraud was proven.

One of these days, this could lead to violence. But I hope not today, in California. (And, by the way, as I write this Tuesday morning, I don’t know the California result and will await the counting of the ballots. But I will assume that if, perchance, contrary to the late polling, Newsom is recalled and Elder is elected, he will revise his fraud claim.)