The Republican base’s fundamental belief, the one that Trump used to win them over in the first place, the one that ties the election conspiracy to birtherism and to Trump’s sneering attack on the Squad’s citizenship, is that Democratic victories do not count, because Democratic voters are not truly American. It’s no accident that the Trump campaign’s claims have focused almost entirely on jurisdictions with high Black populations.
According to a 2020 survey by the political scientist Larry Bartels, three-quarters of Republican voters believe that “it is hard to trust the results of elections when so many people will vote for anyone who offers a handout.” Because Republicans believe, as Mitt Romney put it after his defeat in 2012, that Black people vote for Democrats only because they are offered “free stuff,” Black votes are considered illegitimate even if they are legally cast.
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