Jul 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

At least a third of GOP midterm candidates have pushed Trump's election lie

A pickup truck with various flags and a Trump-Pence election sign drives on the street during the Independence Day parade.
A pickup truck drives during an Independence Day parade in Millville, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dozens of candidates promoting the false notion that the election was rigged are seeking powerful statewide offices, including governor, attorney general and secretary of state, which would give them authority over the administration of elections, the WashPost's Amy Gardner reports.

Why it matters: The embrace of Trump's claims on the campaign trail and in messages to voters provides insight into the former president's continued hold on the GOP.

Driving the news: At least one-third of the nearly 700 Republicans who have filed to run for House or Senate next year have embraced Donald Trump’s false election claims, according to the Post.

  • Of those embracing the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen by Trump and his allies, 136 are sitting members of Congress who voted against President Biden's electoral college victory on Jan. 6, per the Post.
  • At least 16 of the lawmakers who publicly embrace the false claims attended the Jan. 6 protest in Washington.

Between the lines: A Republican candidate to be Arizona’s top elections official, Mark Finchem, said recently he hopes a review of 2020 ballots in his state will lead to the reversal of Trump’s defeat there, Gardner writes.

  • In Georgia, Rep. Jody Hice (R) has made Trump’s false election claim central to his bid to try to unseat the current Republican secretary of state, who has denied the claim.
  • In Virginia, Wren Williams, a political neophyte who was on Trump's legal team to try to overturn his 2020 loss, won after attacking a GOP state House member "who said he had seen no evidence of widespread fraud in the election," according to the Post.
  • "He wasn’t doing anything — squat, diddly," Williams said about his primary opponent. "I’m sitting here fighting for election integrity in the courts, and he’s my elected representative who can legislate and he’s not."

Go deeper: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

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