Don’t do drugs, guys. As good as they make you feel in the moment, they’ll only end up complicating your life.
I can actually understand the “rigged” claims, sort of, as an expression of pure butthurt denialism. It’s a very narrow plurality of Dems who say so — 36/35, with another 29 percent saying they’re not sure. Some people just can’t process that Her Majesty might have lost fair and square and they’re coping by retreating into fantasies of cheating.
This is harder to process, though.
Pity the many, many gullible Democrats who, having suffered one round of terrible heartbreak a few weeks ago, have now set themselves up for round two thanks to Jill Stein. The weird thing is, I’ll bet there’s heavy overlap between Dems who think the election was rigged and those who think the recount will show Hillary won. If the powers that be were willing to rig it the first time, why wouldn’t they rig the recount too?
This tweet, which is making the rounds tonight, won’t make things any better:
Jill Stein is now officially the Ralph Nader of 2016.
Stein votes/Trump margin:
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 1, 2016
Liberals who are grasping for reasons to believe that Hillary was cheated somehow will do simple addition and subtraction there and conclude that she would have won if not for Stein’s presence in the race. But of course there’s no way of knowing that. Many of those Stein voters would have stayed home, so ardently opposed to Clinton were they; others might have voted for Gary Johnson, others might have written someone in, and others might have found another fringe left-wing party to vote for. Some would have voted for Clinton, but how many? The difference in Michigan is wide enough to raise an interesting question about how Hillary would have done there if not for Stein being in the race, but even then you’re left wondering: Would Trump have won the state anyway if we also removed Gary Johnson from the equation?
My warning not to do drugs isn’t aimed just at the left, though:
Illegal voting by noncitizens does happen and in extremely close elections it can be decisive, with momentous consequences, but the evidence that it’s happening to the tune of “millions” of votes is thin enough that the idea shouldn’t be drawing 43 percent support — a strong plurality — among Republicans. When YouGov followed up on that and asked that 43 percent how many of them think Trump would have won the popular vote if not for illegal votes, fully 80 percent of those people said they think he would have. Put all of that together and you’ve got something like 34 percent of Republicans who think that enough illegal votes were cast for Clinton to erase a popular-vote lead of more than 2.5 million votes. That margin is greater than the population of 15 states. And unless you think nearly all illegal voters broke for Hillary, the total number of illegal votes that would have had to be cast to produce a margin of 2.5 million would need to be much greater than that. C’mon.
I guess butthurt denialism, whether over an electoral-college or popular-vote loss, comes in all stripes. In lieu of an exit question, look who retweeted me when I posted this YouGov data on Twitter earlier:
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 2, 2016
Yes, it’s that Neera Tanden. Just say no, Neera.
Update: I tweaked the headline to make clear that it’s 42 percent of Hillary voters, not 42 percent of Democrats, who think she has a good chance of winning the recount. Heavy overlap between those groups, of course, but not identical.