To no one’s surprise, Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy for 2024 in a rambling hour-long speech that the media cut away from because it was largely a warmed over version of what he says at rallies, except that it seemed even more incoherent. Even Fox News cut away, showing just how much his star has faded and Rupert Murdoch has reportedly told him that Fox News will not support his candidacy. That will not deter his MAGA cultists who will be delirious with joy at their Dear Leader riding to their rescue.
Trump is clearly announcing his run from a position of weakness because he had undoubtedly expected that he would be riding a wave of election successes by his acolytes in the various races. But they lost all over the place. Now his announcement is seen as a desperate attempt to stem the calls for him to stay out of the race and to stymie those who might think of challenging him. The Republican establishment is recoiling from the thought of him dragging them down again. With a normal person, pressure might work to get a failing candidate to withdraw and one can expect all manner of maneuvering behind the scenes to try and keep him out so that someone else can be the party nominee. But that may not work because Tump is not a normal person. He is a delusional narcissistic pathological liar who sees anyone who is not totally supportive of him as an enemy and he will lash out at them. Republicans have created a monster and it is now turning on them.
In the latest major defeat for him, Trump backed election-denier Kari Lake lost her high-profile race for Nevada governor.
The Democratic candidate for governor in Arizona, Katie Hobbs, has defeated her far-right, Trump-endorsed opponent, staving off a major threat to voting rights in the state.
Hobbs, who is Arizona’s outgoing secretary of state, defeated Kari Lake, a former TV anchor who denies the 2020 election results.. The Associated Press projected Hobbs as the winner on Tuesday evening with more than 95% of votes reported.
Had she won, Lake had vowed to further dismantle voting norms in the state, arguing winners should be declared on election night – a rare occurrence in Arizona, where mail-in votes can take days to count – while also forgoing ballot counting machines in favor of slower and less accurate hand counts.
And in recent months, rightwing activists had aggressively operated in the state. Hobbs referred several complaints of voter intimidation to law enforcement and the US justice department. And members of the conspiracy theorist group Clean Elections USA had been photographic and intimidating election workers and voters outside the Maricopa county election headquarters in Phoenix.
Abortion rights may have also been a motivator for many voters. In a recent poll, more than 90% of Arizona voters opposed a total ban on abortion. After Arizona revived a pre-statehood ban on abortions, Hobbs made the issue central to her campaign, speaking in personal terms about the impact such a ban would have on women and families.
If you want to get a clear look at how extreme Lake is, just check out this video,
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 15, 2022
Interestingly, though, she supported John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 before switching to becoming a Republican in 2012. She has yet to concede and we can be sure to hear plenty of allegations from her and her supporters about election fraud because that is what Republicans reflexively do now whenever they lose an election, and Lake has been one of the worst offenders in that regard.
But do not worry about Lake’s future. Telegenic extremists and loonies always can find a place in right wing media. No doubt, she is already in talks with Fox News.
Lake was part of the large pool election deniers who lost last Tuesday.
Republicans who rejected and sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results – including Trump-backed candidates who amplified his election lies – lost nearly every statewide race in which they sought to take control over how elections are run, a result hailed as a significant victory for free and fair elections in the US.
Voters rejected election deniers who sought to become the top election officials in Arizona, Nevada and Michigan – all key battleground states – as well as in Minnesota and New Mexico. In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano, a state senator who has been among the most prominent spreaders of election misinformation, lost his bid to be the state’s top election official.
In 94 statewide races this fall, just five non-incumbent election deniers won their elections as of Monday afternoon, according to States United Action, a group that has been tracking election deniers running in the midterms. Those candidates won in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas and Wyoming.
While many of the Trump-endorsed loonies lost, especially in statewide elections, there were still some who won, especially those in very safe Republican congressional districts.
More than 210 GOP candidates who spread doubt and lies about Biden’s 2020 victory have won congressional seats and races for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general so far, but the vast majority of them are headed to the U.S. House and Senate.
Election-denying candidates for the top three statewide positions have fared significantly worse across the nation, especially in swing states, where midterm voters have largely rejected the MAGA loyalists who supported overturning Trump’s 2020 loss.
We should not expect the people who have embraced the election denying lie and all the other QAnon-inspired conspiracies to change their stances in the.face of this repudiation. That is not what cult members do. When faced with a setback, they double down on their beliefs and decide that the problem was that they were not strident enough. So we need to brace ourselves for even more extreme rhetoric.