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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Here we go again

Trump campaign already claiming Democrats trying to 'Steal the 2024 Election'

JULIA CONLEY for Common Dreams

With more than a year to go until the 2024 presidential election, top advisers to former U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign on Monday night claimed without evidence that the Democratic Party is trying to "steal" the election, echoing the lies spread before the 2020 election that fueled the violent January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump campaign officials called on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to "immediately cancel" the third GOP debate, which is scheduled to take place in Miami on November 8 and which Trump has indicated he will not attend, just as he skipped the first two primary debates.

Senior advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita called on the RNC to essentially terminate the primary election and "end all future debates in order to refocus its manpower and money on preventing Democrats' efforts to steal the 2024 election."

Long before voters went to the polls in the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly claimed that the Democratic Party was trying to "steal" or "rig" the vote by expanding mail-in voting—which the former Republican president himself had long utilized and which was expanded to help people vote safely amid the coronavirus pandemic—and made false claims about "fake polls" and absentee ballots.

Few in the Republican Party spoke out against Trump's pre-election lies in 2020, and MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes said Monday that the party is again signaling that it will "stay silent" about the former president's baseless accusations—"even though every last one knows how dangerous all this is."

Wiles and LaCivita claimed the RNC's continuation of primary debates amounted to "an admission to the grassroots that their concerns about voter integrity are not taken seriously" and that Republicans will not work to ensure "a safe and secure election."

Liberal commentator Ryan Shead said the latest ramp-up of election disinformation from Trump is a consequence of the former president's acquittal by Republicans in the U.S. Congress when he was impeached for inciting the January 6 insurrection.

As Vanity Fair correspondent Molly Jong-Fast wrote in May, Trump's lies about "stolen" elections are a central part of his 2024 strategy.

"Trump's supporters, by ignoring the 'fake news' and simply taking his word—or that of his propagandists—are left in post-truth reality," wrote Jong-Fast. 

"Even Trump seems to acknowledge how essential the subject of 2020 'fraud' is in the 2024 primary, telling The Messenger this week how if he didn't talk about it, 'I would actually be rebuked by a large portion of the Republican Party.'"

Trump is currently polling far ahead of his opponents in the Republican primary race, beating Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by 48 points in the latest Morning Consult poll. The national survey showed Trump is currently tied with Biden.