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Trump Supporters Clarify Why They Imagine the Huge Lie

Some 35 % of Individuals—together with 68 % of Republicans—consider the Huge Lie, pushed relentlessly by former President Donald Trump and amplified by conservative media, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. They assume that Trump was the true victor and that he ought to nonetheless be within the White Home right this moment.

I recurrently host focus teams to higher perceive how voters are fascinated about key political subjects. Not too long ago, I made a decision to search out out why Trump 2020 voters maintain so strongly to the Huge Lie.

For a lot of of Trump’s voters, the assumption that the election was stolen shouldn’t be a totally fashioned thought. It’s extra of an angle, or a tribal pose. They know one thing nefarious occurred however can’t simply clarify how or why. What’s extra, they’re mystified and generally indignant that different individuals don’t really feel the identical.

As a lady from Wisconsin instructed me, “I can’t actually put my finger on it, however one thing simply doesn’t really feel proper.” A person from Pennsylvania mentioned, “One thing about it simply didn’t appear proper.” A person from Arizona mentioned, “It didn’t scent proper.”

The precise particulars of the story range—was it Hugo Chávez who stole the election? Or the CIA? Or Italian protection contractors? Outlandish claims like these appear to have made this conspiracy principle extra sturdy, not much less. No matter plausibility, the extra questions which might be raised, the extra mistrustful Trump voters are of the official outcomes.

Maybe that’s as a result of the Huge Lie has been a part of their background noise for years.

Keep in mind that Trump started spreading the notion that America’s elections have been “rigged” in 2016—when he thought he would lose. Many Republicans firmly believed that the Democrats would steal an election if given the possibility. When the 2020 election got here and Trump did lose, his voters have been able to doubt the result.

Some Trump voters appeared on the numbers and couldn’t make sense of them. How may so many extra individuals have voted in 2020 than in 2016? A person from North Carolina, when requested why he thought the election was stolen, mentioned, “There was 10 million extra votes for Trump on this final election than he obtained in 2016. You’re telling me that [Joe] Biden obtained that many?”

To the extent that Huge Lie believers attempt to clarify their skepticism over tens of millions extra individuals voting for Biden than for Trump, they usually level to relative crowd sizes at rallies. As the person from North Carolina put it, “I personally went to Trump rallies that have been filling stadiums, after which Biden can’t even fill a freaking library. Like, no, it’s not true. I don’t consider it. Don’t purchase it.”

One other widespread chorus is that the votes “flipped” in the course of Election Night time. Trump supporters went to mattress considering that their man had gained after which woke as much as a distinct actuality—which to them was startling and deeply suspicious. A girl from Georgia instructed me, “After I went to mattress, Trump was so within the lead after which [I got] up and he’s not within the lead. I imply, that’s loopy.”

Lengthy earlier than Election Day, the media had warned a couple of “pink mirage” and alerted Individuals to the likelihood that Trump would have a big lead on Election Night time solely to have it dissipate as mail-in ballots have been counted. However for those who have been watching Fox Information, you in all probability didn’t hear any of this. As an alternative, Trump, MAGA-friendly politicians, and conservative media shops have been priming voters to see a conspiracy.

Trump appropriately assumed that almost all of the mail-in ballots that might be counted late at night time would go to Biden. So he solid mail-in ballots as fraudulent nearly by definition. The lady from Georgia instructed me that mail-in ballots have been “a crock,” with out elaborating additional.

Makes an attempt to set the file straight are inclined to backfire. Whenever you inform Trump voters that the election wasn’t stolen, a few of them tally that as proof that it was stolen. A girl from Arizona instructed me, “I feel what satisfied me extra that the election was mounted was how vehemently they’ve mentioned it wasn’t.”

These voters aren’t dangerous or unintelligent individuals. The issue is that the Huge Lie is embedded of their each day life. They hear from Trump-aligned politicians, their like-minded friends, and MAGA-friendly media shops—and from these sources they hear the identical false claims repeated advert infinitum.

Now we’re on the level the place to be a Republican means to consider the Huge Lie. And so long as Republicans main the get together maintain selling and indulging the Huge Lie, that may proceed to be the case. If I’ve realized something from my focus teams, it’s that one thing doesn’t should make sense for voters to consider it’s true.

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