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Trump at a 2020 campaign rally in Goodyear, Arizona

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The GOP likes to pretend that the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol in January armed with former President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud don't represent the Republican party, and I understand why. Association with an attempted coup is never a positive link for a national political party, but with each passing month, there are new indicators that those insurrectionists are not the political outliers Republicans contend they are.

A new CNN poll found that of the 1,004 people interviewed, 70 percent of Republicans don't think President Joe Biden won the election despite him winning both the popular and Electoral College votes. Asked was he disappointed Trump lost the election, a demonstrator at a rally for former WWE wrestler Dan "Big Dan" Rodimer's congressional campaign told CNN he was "disappointed in the lack of truth and the election fraud that took place within it." As if Trump had somehow inhabited his body, the demonstrator referenced hoped-for results of a recount of 2.1 million ballots in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa County. "And it's coming out right now in Arizona, and it's going to be a domino effect to the truth moving forward," the demonstrator said. "What happens after that I don't know, but I know that the truth is there's only so many voters that are in one county that can vote, and the numbers far exceed that. It's common sense mathematics." No, actually it's false hope and lies.

Maricopa County has 2.6 million registered voters. Just fewer than 2.1 million of them voted in the 2020 presidential election, and 49.8% of them voted for Biden, according to the Maricopa County Elections Department. Still, now more than 100 days into the new president's first term, Trump is zeroing in on any flicker of hope election results could sway in his favor, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate is giving him exactly that flicker he desires in its decision to turn over election results to a private contractor led by a Trump conspiracy theorist at Cyber Ninjas.

The Post described a former president "ensconced at his private club in Florida" repeatedly questioning aides about the process underway in Arizona. He's especially interested in UV lights to used to evaluate the ballots—"a method that has bewildered election experts, who say it could damage the votes," ThePost reported. "He talks about it constantly," an unnamed source told the Post.

Trump suggested to a crowd of supporters on Thursday at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida that there was something to find from scrutinizing ballots cast in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire. "Let's see what they find," the former president said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes, so we're going to watch that very closely."

Cindy McCain, a businesswoman and widow of late Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, called the whole process underway in Arizona "ludicrous" on CNN Sunday. "The election is over. Biden won," she said. "I know many of them don't like the outcome, but you know elections have consequences."

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican by the way, told The Washington Post she is "very concerned" about the ramifications Arizona's process could have for every state. "This is politicizing an administrative process with no real structure or laws or rules in place to guide how it goes," Wyman said. "Every time in the future the party in control loses, they will use some post-election administrative process to call it into question, and people will no longer have confidence that we have fair elections." Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia who also happens to be Republican, tweeted on Tuesday that Arizona's audit is "another step in undermining confidence in elections. "This process is neither transparent nor, likely, legal," he added in the tweet. "Any "findings" will be highly suspect now that chain of custody has been violated by partisan actors."

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