Election fraud is the GOP's new fundamentalism

False, but not fringe.

A protestor.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

"Vote for us in this election because we lost the last election" might seem a strange campaign appeal, but it's a theme many Republican candidates have embraced for the 2022 midterms.

They wouldn't phrase it quite that way, of course. In their telling, the issue is pursuit of "election integrity" to prevent a repetition of last year's "stolen" presidential race. In this they have the backing of former President Donald Trump, who recently warned GOP officials they'd be "quickly run out of office" should they fail to provide "a full forensic investigation" of the 2020 vote. The "election integrity" contingent also has strength in numbers: By The Washington Post's tally, "at least a third" of nearly 700 GOP candidates who have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress next year have dubbed President Biden's victory fraudulent. Of that third, 136 are sitting members of Congress, and historical trends suggest about nine in 10 of them will win their seats again.

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