At least a third of Republican midterm candidates who have taken steps to run next year for the US Senate or House of Representatives have “embraced” former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” about his 2020 election defeat, according to a new report.
In an analysis of the GOP contenders who have filed the early paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for Congress next year, The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner describes how a number of Republican candidates have become “increasingly focused on the last election”.
Many of them, she said, have launched their campaigns running on Mr Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election being rigged and “stolen” from him by President Joe Biden.
In one such case, the journalist notes how political newcomer Wren Williams, who had joined Mr Trump’s legal team to try to overturn his 2020 election loss in court, has launched a campaign in Virginia accusing his opponent of doing little to protect “election integrity”.
“He wasn’t doing anything – squat, diddly,” Mr Williams said of his primary opponent. “He wasn’t taking election integrity seriously. I’m sitting here fighting for election integrity in the courts, and he’s my elected representative who can legislate and he’s not.”
Meanwhile, Chuck Gray, one of at least six Trump-supporting Republicans challenging Republican Rep Liz Cheney’s US House seat in Wyoming, who denounced the former president and voted to impeach him on the charge that he incited the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol, has also made “election integrity” a central focus of his platform.
So far, nearly 700 Republicans have filed their initial paperwork to run in the midterm elections.
According to The Post’s analysis, that means that more than 230 GOP midterm candidates so far have expressed support for Mr Trump’s widely condemned claims of election fraud.
As Ms Gardner notes, the trend highlights Mr Trump’s hold on the GOP.
In a Quinnipiac University poll released in May, two-thirds of GOP voters said they want the former president to run again in 2024. Less than a third said he should not.
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