A little more than two years ago, I wrote a post about the startling results of a recently-released YouGov poll. It showed that an outright majority of Democratic voters believed that Donald Trump's election had been directly aided by Russian vote tampering. There is absolutely zero basis for this conspiracy theory, which has been forcefully and categorically rejected by bipartisan elections officials all across the country. It's a totally false invention, cynically given oxygen by those who've stoked suspicions by sloppily referring to the "hacked election." The sad truth is that a great many partisans are willing to believe virtually anything that reinforces what they want to be true, which often involves assuming the worst of the opposition. It's easier for some to dabble in disqualifying fever dreams than to simply admit defeat. This is true on both the Right and the Left.
What's somewhat astonishing is that the number of Democrats willing to embrace this utterly evidence-free garbage appears to have increased significantly since the early days of Trump's presidency. A fresh YouGov survey finds that fully two-thirds of Democratic voters now say it's "definitely" or "probably" true that the government of Russia tampered with vote tallies in 2016:
65% of Democrats think "Russia tampered with vote tallies" & 41% believe "millions of illegal votes were cast in the election." These numbers illustrate just how divorced from reality Democratic discourse on Russia has been. pic.twitter.com/3lBsrVIWFx— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) March 2, 2019
As this tweet indicates, more than 40 percent of Democrats also believe that "millions of illegal votes were cast" in the most recent presidential cycle. Among Republicans, that number is 66 percent. It's a near certainty that some number of illegal votes were indeed cast -- and it's important to support electoral safeguards (what percentage of Democrats who believe the 'millions of unlawful votes' claim also oppose mainstream voter integrity efforts like ID laws?). But there is absolutely zero evidence to support the proposition that any statistically-significant number of illegal ballots were counted in 2016, let alone "millions." It is frightening how many people are willing to adopt crackpot theories if it means discrediting undesirable election outcomes.
On that score, does everyone remember the wave of indignation and panic that rippled across the media and Democratic Party when then-candidate Donald Trump wouldn't unambiguously commit to respecting the general election results? Hillary Clinton -- not wrongly, by the way -- called it "horrifying" at the final presidential debate:
Today, a supermajority of Democratic voters are still effectively refusing to accept Trump's victory. And elected Democrats are also proving themselves entirely comfortable with attacking and undermining certified election results that they don't like. A case in point, co-starring...Hillary Clinton:
Sherrod Brown at Selma unity breakfast: "We know that in Georgia, they stole the election from who should have been governor."— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 3, 2019
Actually, Stacey Abrams should not be governor, because she lost her election by more than 50,000 votes. The election, while fraught with certain controversies, was absolutely not "stolen." Read this and this for details. Conspiracy-mongering is poisonous to our body politic. Democrats vigorously agreed with this statement when the nonsense peddler was someone they opposed. They must be held accountable when they're the ones dealing crazy pills to their own credulous-to-deranged base. I'll leave you with Hillary peddling more bogus "suppression" fear:
In 2012, 3.9 million votes were cast in the Presidential election in Georgia. https://t.co/5YSfFJ45cW— Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson) March 3, 2019
In 2016, 4.1 million votes were cast in the Presidential election in Georgia. https://t.co/DzfsAbIrNB https://t.co/Dky0nbNc1H