No Big Lie in 2022?

Even the 2020 election deniers are conceding close elections in the midterms.

While a whole lot of 2020 election deniers were elected to the House and to other offices, the prevalence of them among Republican Senate candidates certainly seems to be at least one significant factor in the party’s historic underperformance. It is worth repeating, though, that even the election deniers themselves have largely reverted to the norm of conceding defeat.

I have seen no indication yet whether Adam Laxalt—a prominent 2020 election denier—will concede, cry fraud, file for a recount, or what after watching his rather significant Election Night margin slowly fade away as mail ballots were counted.

The front page of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal is somewhat comforting, though:

I haven’t gone through all of the editorials but, thus far, it sure looks like they’re treating this as a completely normal outcome of a legitimate vote counting process.

UPDATE (Mon. 14 November): One of the last holdouts, Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, issued a concession letter via his Instagram at 5:47 pm Sunday. It’s not the most gracious of its variety that we’ve seen, to be sure, but there’s simply zero hint that the results were anything but legitimate. I’ll take it.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Media, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    While a whole lot of 2020 election deniers were elected to the House and to other offices, the prevalence of them among Republican Senate candidates certainly seems to be at least one significant factor in the party’s historic underperformance.

    The most important question is whether they become governors or Secs. of State. That could spell real trouble for cooperating with the results if a Democrat wins any of those states in 2024.

    Fortunately, most of the election-denying gubernatorial and Sec. of State candidates have gone on to defeat. Only one such Sec. of State candidate has won, in Indiana, and the AZ gubernatorial race is still up in the air. If Kari Lake wins, that will be very bad for democracy.

    The Nevada governor-elect Joe Lombardo is a Republican, but he’s distanced himself from the election deniers and acknowledged Biden’s victory.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    It appears that Cortez Masto’s margin will be sufficiently small that a request for a recount by Laxalt would be normal, even if an auto recount isn’t triggered. There were reports yesterday and Friday that he was preparing to do just that.

    Yes, the deniers have been quiet and I’m not aware of any candidate claiming fraud, even if they haven’t issued a concession.

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  3. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I think Kari Lake would almost certainly cry fraud if (when) she loses in Arizona.

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  4. Cheryl Rofer says:

    after watching his rather significant Election Night victory slowly fade away

    James, you left out “apparent.” There is no electoral victory until all the votes are counted.

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I should have instead “written significant Election Night margin,” and have updated the post accordingly.

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  6. gVOR08 says:

    I give Kemp no credit for resisting Trump’s call to find votes. There was no conceivable way to do so that would have worked and trying would have been clearly illegal. Trump wanted Kemp to just do it and brazen it out. Kemp knew he couldn’t get away with that. And he’s fighting a subpoena from the Fulton Co. investigation. (Maybe he’ll cooperate now that the election’s over and GOP elites may see a chance to rid themselves of Trump.) Same with Pence. All he did was keep himself out of a lot legal trouble for doing something that wouldn’t work. Trump, on the other hand, had a plan. It was a stupid plan, but he thought maybe it could work. And he thought, perhaps correctly as it turns out, that as prez, or even ex-prez, he’d be pretty much exempt from any consequences. As to legal consequences for his minions like Stone or Giuliani, or for Pence, Kemp, or the rioters, that’s not something Trump would have worried about.

    It’s good that these defeated election truthers aren’t fighting, but realistically what can they do? They can demand recounts (that in many cases they’d have to pay for) and file lawsuit (they’ll have to pay for) with no real chance of success.

    There’s kind of a rule that morality can’t require you to do something you can’t do. Conversely, you don’t get points for refraining from doing something you can’t do.

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  7. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Murdoch understands that domestic chaos is bad for business. Putting your thumb, heck your whole fist, on the scale to lean things toward your desired outcomes is a very different thing from taking a blowtorch to the scale and then hurling it against the concrete.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have seen no indication yet whether Adam Laxalt—a prominent 2020 election denier—will concede, cry fraud, file for a recount, or what after watching his rather significant Election Night margin slowly fade away as mail ballots were counted.

    I supported Gore’s call for a recount and I will support Laxalt’s too. It’s a narrow win. He has that right. My support will however evaporate like a puddle of piss in the Sonoran Desert if he won’t accept the results of the recount.

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