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As Election Day Nears, Half Of Voters Expect Violence

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As Election Day Nears, Half Of Voters Expect Violence

Protesters picket outside the event site before Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump begins a rally with supporters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

How long will it be before someone gets shot by a Donald Trump supporter in what the shooter may likely consider an act of patriotic civil disobedience? Or before someone uses a gun against right-wing vigilantes?

There is no shortage of evidence pointing toward some violent outburst surrounding the presidential election results. Reporters interviewing Trump supporters at rallies, national polls showing likely voters are expecting Election Day violence, consumer-trend tracking firms saying demand is rising for gun purchases, and rhetoric from the longstanding cadre of right-wing loudmouths, all suggest some type of ugly response.

“Sixteen percent of Americans plan on buying a gun as a result of the upcoming election,” said a press release Thursday from Elementum, “the real-time supply chain platform company, who polled 2,000 Americans from October 20-24 and found that among those living in the South, 19 percent will buy guns and among Gen Xers, the number is nearly 23 percent, especially among women, 24 percent.”

Wrapping oneself in the flag and taking up arms is a staple of the far-right militia-embracing fringe. But the urge has found a new home in the Trump campaign, led by a presidential candidate who says the vote will be stolen unless he wins, a manager who publishes bomb-throwing Breitbart News, and backers who get their “news” from even more extreme sources like conspiracist Alex Jones of InfoWars.

Just this week, conservative talk radio hosts like Joe Walsh, the former Illinois congressman-turned-AM shouter, were promoting this militant line. “On November 8, I’m voting for Trump. On November 9, if Trump loses, I’m grabbing my musket,” Walsh tweeted.

When CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted back, “#WalshFreedom what exactly does that mean?” the self-styled revolutionary replied, “Protesting… Acts of civil disobedience. Doing what it takes to get our country back.”

Walsh, when pressed by other news outlets, ever so slickly declared he was referring to a firearm used in colonial times, meaning it was symbolic posturing. An ex-congressman should know better—and he is playing with fire.

But other Trump true believers do not know better.

“People are going to march on the capitols,” Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, told the New York Times in a piece posted Thursday based on interviewing 50 supporters in swing states. “They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there… [Clinton] has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.”

There is mounting evidence that the Trump-led faction of the Republican Party is preparing to take their rage into the streets. Half of likely voters expect Election Day will be violent, a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday found.

“Hillary Clinton has built a formidable lead over Donald Trump approaching 10 percentage points,” the national newspaper reported. “But she faces a deeply divided nation that is alarmed about the prospect of Election Day violence and what may be ahead. A 51 percent majority of likely voters express at least some concern about the possibility of violence on Election Day; one in five are ‘very concerned.’”

Digging deeper, USA Today echoed what Trump supporters at rallies were saying, according to the Times.

“More than four in 10 of Trump supporters say they won’t recognize the legitimacy of Clinton as president, if she prevails, because they say she wouldn’t have won fair and square,” USA Today said. This confirms the far right is taking Trump’s repeated claims that the election will be rigged as their new political gospel, even though a majority of top state election officials—who are Republicans—have said that’s not true.

There have been almost no post-debate polls by credible pollsters (not counting instant Internet surveys on right-wing websites like the Drudge Report) showing Trump with a path to the 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. But facts have never mattered to the Trump campaign and his flock. He has said they need to patrol the polls on Election Day, raising the specter of right-wing vigilantes intimidating voters in non-white population centers, an image last widely seen in the pre-Civil Rights Movement south.

Clinton, in her latest speeches, has said Trump’s talk of rigged elections and his threat not to accept certified vote counts is targeting American democracy itself.

“Donald Trump is attacking everything that has set our country apart for 240 years,” she said Tuesday in Florida. “After spending his entire campaign attacking one group of Americans after another … now his final target is democracy itself.”

And in addition to democracy, the target includes all Americans who reject Trump and the far right’s machinations.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of “Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting” (AlterNet Books, 2008).

Photo: Protesters picket outside the event site before Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump begins a rally with supporters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. May 24, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. Sand_Cat October 28, 2016

    Why wouldn’t they, when one candidate suggested his followers shoot his opponent if she wins?

    1. kep October 29, 2016

      Is that the comeback your commie handlers told you to say? More liberal lies and deflection. I personally think that we need to get rid of all career politicians. Most are corrupt and self-serving, but Hillary tops all of them, and liberals are too stupid to see.

      1. Joan October 29, 2016

        What I, as a proud liberal see is :
        A failed businessman, a bigot, and a race baiter. I see a man who has demonstrated a lack of respect for women, our military and their families and the leadership of his own party. I see a man who has no plans, who is ignorant and who is temperamentally unable to let a slight go by. I see a man who has been a con artist most of his life. I also see someone who has demonstrated a lack of regard for our laws, our courts or the truth.
        I see a man with few redeeming values who has been promoted into a position he does not deserve. I see the shame and decay of the GOP in toxic, glo in the dark orange.

        1. kep October 29, 2016

          I had to look twice at your post. I thought you were describing your Emperor Obama. A bigot and race batter is a valid description of the Emperor. He has been the most divisive of anyone we have ever has in the WHY. Lack of respect for our military and their families? That too is an apt description of the Emperor and Hillary. Has no plans, is ignorant, and will not let a slight go by? Yeah, that too for both the Emperor and Hillary. I see a man who has been a constant artist?? Obama. Someone that has a lack of regard for our laws, our courts, or the truth? That describes both the Emperor and Hillary once again. Neither feel that our laws or Constitution are for them. They are above all that and freely do as they please.
          I sure hope to see both of them is bright prison orange jumpsuits , or hanging from a gallows after being tried for treason against America.

          1. Joan October 29, 2016

            You are on the wrong side of history, of progress and the truth. Hope you develop more worthy dreams starting November 9, bless your heart.

          2. kep October 30, 2016

            You actually seem like a good person, unlike most of the rabid jackals on this site. I was once like you, blindly following the Democratic Party. It took me 5 years to start seeing all the lies and deception from the Emperor and his regime. It’s time for you to start taking a long hard look at what has happened to our country under the illegal rule of this regime. Do you really believe that our Constitution and laws should not apply to the ruling class? Do you really think we should even have a ruling class? Isn’t our country supposed to be lead by the American people? Do you really want to support a ruling class that think the American people are there to serve them?

          3. Moshulu October 29, 2016

            Blah, blah, blah…..And your dictator to be, comrade Trump is going to make you a billion-gazillion-aire because he’s a businessman, king of the bankruptcy courts!!! <——–LOL

          4. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            Ah, naked racism. Who would have thought a Trump supporter would stoop to that, aside from everyone?

          5. kep October 30, 2016

            Yeah, everyone is a racist if they don’t agree with the regime. Pull your head out.

          6. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            You’re racist if you say racist things, or support a racist candidate. You do both.

            I hope that helps!

      2. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

        OK sorry that you think this made sense. You are supporting a fascist who sexually assaults children; no amount of pretending that Hillary is a bad person will change that.

        1. kep October 30, 2016

          Child molester now? That’s a new one. Did you pull that one out of your butt all by yourself? Parading a bunch of women out to claim that some inappropriate advances were made by a political opponent is a Clinton trademark move. They have done this to near every person that dared to oppose them since they first started in the corrupt political stage.
          And yes, Hillary IS a corrupt lying bitch. No amount of deflection will change that, but you liberals will try your best to lie your way out.

          1. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            I’m sorry you don’t keep up with the news; not my problem. The court case relating to Donald Trump’s alleged rape of a 13-year-old has its status conference on December 16th.

          2. kep October 30, 2016

            Again, typical liberal behavior. Lie, deflect, and lie some more when confronted with truth. You need a long rest in a mental facility. Maybe you can mortgage your bicycle to help pay your Obama care deductible.

          3. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            OK sorry you think you can change reality by being abusive. You can’t.

            I hope that helps!

          4. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            PS thanks for the bonus sexism at the end there. I’d expect no less, as you are garbage.

          5. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

            PPS in other news, multiple witnesses have come forward saying that Trump gave cocaine to underage models in exchange for sex.

  2. Godzilla October 28, 2016

    Well then, considering the apparent ease at which Liberal information is being accessed via computer hacking, all of you liberal pukes should be very concerned that we know who you are, which we do. that really don’t mean anything, as it’s you Liberal pukes who engage in violence when you don’t get your way. This article is more liberal BS.

    1. I Am Helpy October 29, 2016

      OK I’m sure you thought that made some kind of sense. Take your meds, grandpa.

      1. Theresajmitchell October 29, 2016

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    2. Moshulu October 29, 2016


    3. charleo1 October 30, 2016

      I think it was a Liberal that defeated Hitler, while antisemitic Republicans like Henry Ford supported the German Fascist. His picture hanging in Hitler’s Berlin Chancellery. So who’s the violent Liberal pukes, and who’s the Authoritarian? The Putin Hugger? The Kim Jung Un fan? The Saddam Hussein apologist? The NATO basher?

  3. TMZ1928 October 29, 2016

    The Clinton campaign is the one who has hired thugs to foment violence at Trump rallies. And had Obama lost either election, it was his base that would have rioted.

    1. Dan S October 29, 2016

      Only in your own fevered mind has Secretary Clinton hired thugs as you say. Trump & his violent supporters are fully responsible for any violence that occurs at his Nazi rallies. More often than not it’s the threats of riots being voiced by Trumps minions. And no Obama voters would’ve accepted the outcome of both elections which he won handily unlike Trump who won’t

    2. Moshulu October 29, 2016


      Fast forward to 2016 please, you’ve already loss the last two Presidential races.

    3. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

      I’ll take “things that aren’t true” for 5, Alex

    4. charleo1 October 30, 2016

      Woulda/coulda/shoulda! It wasn’t close. Obama beat Romney by a larger margin than he beat McCain. Trump promises to not accept no other outcome than his winning. And, he’s losing historically. So are you going to riot? Or just sit home and gripe? I’m guessing the latter.

  4. Jon October 29, 2016

    Trump’s campaign of lies and hatred has drawn the support of every hate group in America and other unaffiliated degenerates. His rallies from the primaries through today have shown the world how uncivilized and violent his true believers are. The animals have assaulted anyone who dared not worship their Glorious Leader who attended or were near his rallies.
    At some point patriotic Americans will need to arm themselves for self-defense. The violent raging psychopaths who grovel at Trump’s feet are capable of all sorts of violence and many have promised it after their god is defeated on November 8th. They do not hesitate to threaten others and many are going to engage in voter intimidation. We can only hope law enforcement agencies can protect good citizens from these subhumans.

  5. Elliot J. Stamler October 29, 2016

    Moderates and Liberals:
    IF the Trump fascists go over the line and use violence to start destroying democracy in our country which is exactly what they want to do, then of course let law enforcement deal with it strongly and effectively.
    BUT if law enforcement inexplicably doesn’t or can’t then stop being pussies and get ahold of your own guns and if you don’t have one get one (legally) and use every bit of deadly force to exterminate the fascist seditionists who are trying to overthrow our elected government.
    FACE FACTS: The Trump fascists are the reasonable consequence of the now domination of the Republican Party by fascism beginning with their initial empowerment under Saint Reagan who never in a million years expected the kind of conservatives he praised were the advance guard of today’s storm troopers. I have written for over 15 years that the GOP is now a fascist party for the most part. This article just proves it.
    Let me quote to you, my fellow moderates and liberals, the finest and most honorable conservative in my lifetime, Barry Goldwater, who was RIGHT when he said:
    “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” Barry Goldwater, a reserve air force general, would know exactly how to deal with fascist filth like Jared Halbrook quoted in this article…it would be giving him a third eye the minute Halbrook began seditious armed violence.

  6. Moshulu October 29, 2016

    “As Election Day Nears, Half Of Voters Expect Violence”

    Yep, and it will all be thanks to Trump and his cult supporters. But in the mean time, read this article in the link below.

    ==The GOP’s Stealth War Against Voters
    Will an anti-voter-fraud program designed by one of Trump’s advisers deny tens of thousands their right to vote in November?==


  7. AgLander October 29, 2016

    The sad reality is that the words “”Democrat”, “liberal” and “progressive” have become synonymous with violence.

    1. I Am Helpy October 30, 2016

      Yes, it IS sad that you think that. Sad and weird. I guess when you spend all day trembling in fear, even the most outlandish claims terrify you. Anyway, thanks for letting us know what a total coward thinks!

    2. charleo1 October 30, 2016

      Tell that to the family of Dr. George Tiller.

  8. charleo1 October 30, 2016

    Trump rallies are in and of themselves acts of implied violence. Implied violence against immigrants, Muslims, political opponents, and established norms of jurisprudence. At once claiming the rightness of expanding police, and military power. While impugning those very systems they protect, and the laws they are charged with enforcing as inherently corrupt. They are a case for, and about unaccountable power being granted to one man in a state of dire emergency, they themselves contend exist. A state they claim that not only would excuse the violence that may be necessary. But expects it, as a probable outcome of taking on the powerful dark forces described in their leader Trump’s propaganda filled lies, and demagogic rants. And why are they enemies? Because leader Trump says they are. Where are the enemies? Where Leader Trump says they are, of course.

    1. patricia.kibler October 30, 2016

      Acquire 90 dollars every day for working on the web from comfort of your own home for several hrs on a daily base… Get regular payment weekly… You’ll need a personal computer, connection to the internet, plus some sparetime… http://secure54.com

    2. Box November 4, 2016

      If you just change the name from Trump to Hillary, youd have the perfect outer space, conservative extremist, tin foil hat, paranoid, over the top and off the cliff post for which special doctors and heavy meds are required. Its so far out there that words dont even exist in the english language to explain it or undo it or anything. Really, that post right there a marvel of imaginative engineering I didnt think was possible in the current state of humanity. Sci-Fi book authors should be consulting you, even in their dreams they cant match your writing. I tip my hat to you!

      1. charleo1 November 5, 2016

        Sure the words exist. “They used to carry people like that out of these events in stretchers.” “Go ahead! Punch him in the face. I’ll pay your lawyer bill!” “If she is elected, Hillary Clinton will appoint the judges, and there’s not a thing we can do about.” “Maybe the 2nd Amd. folks could do something.”
        “I know more about ISIS than the Generals.” “Only I can save you.” “The system is rigged, folks.” “I’ll accept the results of the election…If I win.”
        I didn’t think it was possible for so many Americans, seeped in the culture of democracy as we are. Committed to the principles laid out in our founding documents, as they claim. To blindly support such an obvious demagogue, White Nationalist, and hate monger as Donald Trump for President.

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