How Trump’s conspiracy theories have inspired some supporters to boycott the Georgia runoffs

President Donald Trump’s lies about election stealing have an unintended consequence: There are now members of his base who are pleading for Republicans not to vote in Georgia’s second round for two vital Senate seats.

Democrats can take control of the US Senate if Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff beat incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the next rounds. But Trump damaged his party’s cause by attacking two Republican state officials – Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican Trump demeaned as “RINO”, or Republican in name only – for their supposed involvement in a far-fetched plan to start the state presidential election for Joe Biden. (In fact, Raffensperger and Kemp are Trump supporters.)

A core Trump faction – including a PAC with ties to Roger Stone – took Trump’s conspiracy and attacks on Kemp and Raffensperger as a call not to participate in the second round. Those rumblings were big enough that on Monday Donald Trump Jr. felt compelled to intervene with a tweet in which he dismissed discussions of Perdue and Loeffler’s refusal to vote as “Nonsense,” adding : “We need ALL of our people going out. vote for Kelly and David. “

The irony, however, is that the Trump fans that Don Jr. berated are simply taking inspiration from his father, who continues to push baseless conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from him even after he was killed. ‘he half-heartedly approved the General Service Administration’s decision on Monday evening. to officially begin the transition to Biden.

Trump fans refuse to believe Trump actually lost

On the right-wing social media platform Speak, investigative journalist Marcus Baram spoke documented how the posters say things like, “Don’t vote! Don’t be part of the corruption, ”and“ With the Dominion voting machines, our votes won’t be counted anyway. The only way to show corruption is to boycott the election or write Donald Trump instead.

Of course, the idea that the fraud involving Dominion Voting Systems, an electronic voting system used across the country, somehow rigged the election of Joe Biden is a MAGA fever dream with no evidence. . But it was relentlessly pushed by Trump and is at the center of the requests he continued to make on Tuesday for an overhaul of the election.

The idea that Trump fans should boycott Georgia’s runoff as a form of punishment for establishment Republicans resonated beyond Talk. At a “Stop the Steal” rally held in Georgia over the weekend, for example, one speaker was cheered as he attacked Raffensperger and Kemp as “traitors” and said: “Everything Republican who allows this to happen is an accomplice and we’ll get you there. ! … We will do whatever it takes to completely destroy the Republican Party. (Asset tweeted his support for the rally.)

And it’s not just the hikes that publicly call on Trump fans not to participate in the second round. Tuesday, Lachlan Markay and Will Sommer written for the Daily Beast on how “preservatives and a super PAC linked to GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone call on Trump supporters to punish Republicans by sitting down The second round of the Senate in Georgia or write in Trump’s name instead.

Meanwhile, a lawyer who worked for the Trump campaign in Georgia, L. Lin Wood, tweeted on Saturday that unless Purdue and Loeffler no longer do to push for investigations into the (baseless) fraud allegations. from Trump, “I will NOT vote in the second round of the GA. . “

It should be noted that some of these efforts are remarkably half-baked. The Stone-affiliated PAC, for example, encourages Trump fans to write on Trump’s behalf, even though the second-round ballot in Georgia does not allow written entries. But given the proximity of the Warnock-Loeffler and Perdue-Ossoff races should be, demoralizing even a fraction of the Republican electorate could tip crucial races for Democrats.

Now that he is effectively set to leave the White House, it is unclear how much Trump cares about Republicans retaining control of the Senate. It’s also not clear that he is thinking about the implications of the conspiracy theories he was advocating, given that last week he endorsed Loeffler and Purdue.

But Don Jr.’s tweet to ignore calls made by fellow MAGA supporters around the vote illustrates one of the great challenges the Republican Party faces in the wake of Trump’s defeat. Is it possible to satisfy Trump fans who refuse to believe their leader has been defeated while still existing in a world where elections still have consequences? The first feedback seems to indicate that it will be difficult.