The down-ballot parroting of Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud began right after the election. But in the weeks since, it has evolved into a self-sustaining phenomenon of its own. Republican candidates for House, legislative and gubernatorial races in more than half a dozen states are still refusing to concede.
Echoing the president, these candidates are an early sign of what Republicans say will be a sustained, post-Trump effort to tighten voting restrictions and to reverse measures implemented in many states to make voting easier. They also may mark the beginning of a Trump-inspired trend of candidates who never fold — they just fade away after weeks and months of unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
“It’s not about whether it’s a competitive race or not,” said Errol Webber, a little-known Republican who lost his race to unseat Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) by more than 70 percentage points. “It’s on principle that we will not let up until the truth is known.”