Here’s how election deniers fared in key midterm races
Republican candidates who rejected the results of the 2020 presidential election are running in hundreds of midterm races — including dozens competitive competitions – will be decided on Tuesday.
Why it matters: Many of these positions have significant power over the conduct of elections or their confirmation. If elected, they would have powerful positions from which to interfere in future elections.
by numbers: Axios’ chart shows 50 GOP candidates for Congress, governor and secretary of state running in races the Cook Political Report rates as competitive and have either denied or doubted the 2020 election results, according to FiveThirtyEight‘s tracker.
- Nine of these candidates are running for governor, five for secretary of state, five for the Senate and 31 for the House.
- Axios focused on competitive races because—compared to deep red districts—they are the ones with the most uncertainty and where voters have the biggest say in how to weigh the impacts on the future of democracy against other priorities like gas prices or crime.
- This is a fraction of the 260 GOP candidates on the ballots that the tracker found put the 2020 election in question.
between the lines: There is significant overlap with this list of candidates and those former President Trump endorsed in their primaries.
- Trump has made denying the results of the 2020 candidates a key factor in his support, even punishment one Senate candidate because he didn’t deny the results as often as his gubernatorial counterpart.
What we’re watching: The races for secretary of state are higher than ever, while races for governor have taken on new importance.
- Secretaries of state are, in many cases, the top state election officials, while governors have a role in the constitutionally mandated process of confirming presidential elections.
- Many ardent pro-choice deniers are running for secretary of state in key swing states: Mark Finchem in Arizona, Jim Marchant in Nevada and Kim Crockett in Minnesota. All three are Republicans.
- There are also gubernatorial candidates who have made election denial a core part of their campaign, including Curry Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.
Big picture: While dozens of these candidates are running in competitive elections, hundreds more Republicans who have cast doubt on the 2020 results are running for safe seats and are almost guaranteed to win.
- That includes many House and Senate incumbents who voted to decertify voters in Arizona and Pennsylvania after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more information about how we define pro-choice deniers and selected races for the chart.
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