Posted by: maboulette | August 15, 2016

Trump – The Election Will Be ‘Rigged’

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With 3 months to go before the presidential election is decided, Donald Trump is already explaining his loss.

Trump has maintained with growing conviction that it would be due to a “rigged” system that comprises voter fraud on a enormous scale —benefiting Hillary Clinton. It also doesn’t matter how bad he loses; rigging will explain the margin.

“The only way we can lose, in my opinion — and I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on,” Trump said Friday night in Pennsylvania, a state where cheating would have to account for Clinton’s lead in polls which are currently in double-digit.

The question is how many Republicans will believe it? And based on some resent data, the answer is: Probably a lot.

The conspiracy theory lacks fact. Anyone who embraces this theory either has never registered to vote or they are just really stupid.  

A Bloomberg poll released last week showed that 34% of general election voters agreed with the statement that the election will be “rigged” — a number that included 56% of Trump supporters.

This question was more about general rigging of the election and not about whether it would actually be enough to tip the scales in one direction or another.

The Democratic-leaning automated pollster Public Policy Polling asked North Carolina voters last week a specific question: “If Hillary Clinton is elected president, do you think it will be because more people voted for her, or because the election results are rigged for her?” This establishes a more direct relationship; it’s not just the election being “rigged,” but also that this rigging will be the deciding factor. In this case, 69% of Trump supporters agreed.

The specific idea of a rigged 2016 election aside, a large number of Republicans have believed these kinds of conspiracy theories and voter-fraud accusations in the past — even when there is no real evidence.

The unfounded idea that Obama is a Muslim is even more widely believed. The CNN poll showed that 43 % of Republicans said Obama was a Muslim (just 3 in 10 correctly said he’s a Christian), while PPP pegged that number much higher — at 54%.

Trump’s idea of a rigged election seems to be grounded in the kind of voter fraud that could move election results several percentage points or more in many states. There are very few instances of proven voter fraud in the United States and nothing comes even close to the scale that Trump talks about, but GOP voters seem to believe that such things are probable.

A Monmouth poll on the eve of the 2012 election showed that 51% of Republicans believed voter fraud to be a “major problem” in the United States. Similarly, a Washington Post-ABC News poll in July 2012 showed that 57% of Republicans thought voter fraud was a major problem.

Those are pretty general sentiments, but a Marquette Law School poll in Wisconsin in 2014 broke it down a little more (only among Wisconsinites). Given a choice between how many votes were affected by at least one type of voter fraud, 54% of Republicans picked the largest option, saying at least one kind of fraud affected a few thousand votes or more in each election in that state. And 41% of independents agreed.

It is not known whether Republicans believe the kind of fraud that can move results five to 10 percentage points for one simple reason: because it has never been seriously called by a major political candidate, and, thus, it hasn’t been polled.

Trump’s accusation strains credibility in many ways. Even if you believe voter fraud is more widespread than has been proven, he’s predicting that hundreds of thousands or even millions of votes across the country will be affected by voter fraud and it will be enough to change the result — more than 3 months before it even happens.

Sorry folks but “that dog don’t hunt.”


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