Washington (AFP) – Robert Reid said he always believed the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump. A retired police officer-turned-construction worker believes fraud spoiled the vote, no matter how many courts dismissed the claim. Yet, the day after the Electoral College officially declared Joe Biden the victory, an ardent Trump supporter from the suburbs of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was ready to move forward.
“I think it’s pretty much over,” Reid said of Trump’s continuing drive to nullify the election results. “I trust the Electoral College.”
For weeks, Trump had been on a mission to convince his loyal base that his victory had been stolen and that the competition was rigged. With the help of conservative media, polls show he’s a hit. But now that the Electoral College has formalized Biden’s victory And Republican officials, including Senate Leader Mitch McConnellThey finally recognize Biden as the elected president, and it appears that many Trump voters across the country are doing the same.
Interviews with voters, along with new polls for Republicans, indicate that their unfounded doubts about the integrity of the vote remain. But there is much less consensus about what to do about it and whether this discontentment should continue.
For some, like Reid, the Electoral College vote was the obvious end of the process. Others pledged to continue protesting with demonstrations like those that turned violent In Washington, DC during the weekend. Some said they hoped Republican leaders would press for further investigations to remove suspicions that Trump has planted.
They’re people like Scott Adams, a retiree and Trump voter who live in Rehoboth BeachDelaware, who has said he accepts Biden’s victory – but “with reservations.”
Adams said he heard a lot of discussion about vote irregularities on Fox News and conservative talk radio broadcasting to have confidence in the election result and not feel he would ever know the true margin of victory. (Biden won the Electoral College 306 to 232.)
But Adams does not believe the election was rigged enough to alter the outcome, even if he thinks it was “rigged enough that it should be questioned further.” He would like to see more investigations.
Republicans across the country – from local officials to conservatives to Attorney General William Barr – have repeatedly said that there is no evidence that mass voter fraud affected the outcome.. Trump and his allies filed a series of lawsuits, but judges rejected nearly all of them. Supreme courtHearings, which includes three judges nominated by Trump, have rejected requests to hear in two cases aimed at nullifying election results in major battlefield states.
However, dealing with this pile of evidence has been difficult for many Trump voters. They have expressed disbelief that Trump would have lost, given the huge crowds he had drawn to his rallies. Some said their suspicions were heightened by the reluctance of the mainstream media to broadcast the unfounded claims of Trump. They repeatedly indicated that the number of sounds was slower than usual as an indication that something was happening.
“Something is not right here,” said Reed, who lives in East Lampeter.
The explanation is well known – in many states, the flow of mail-order ballots, cast by Democrats overwhelmingly, has been counted after personal ballot. However, Reid said he believed the courts should have spent more time investigating.
“I will always believe that it was stolen from him. I really wouldn’t be able to have peace of mind because it wasn’t.
Others were less willing to move forward.
“I don’t trust this result. I think the election was rigged. I think the election was stolen. I don’t know how no one can believe that.” Said Catherine Negrit, 55, a teacher who lives in Peoria, Arizona, “All you have to do is Take a look at the results. “
Negret is among those hoping that Trump could win if the Supreme Court intervened (no indication this would happen) or Congress chose to accept a “surrogate slate” of Trump voters from several states. Election experts said this scheme has no legal path and that Republican Senate leaders are discouraging it.
Nevertheless, Negret said, “I hope Congress will do the right thing” and expressed her frustration with the dwindling options.
“I don’t know what we can do about it.” She said, “If we don’t have the courts that defend us.” “If we don’t have a public prosecutor who will stand up and say, ‘This was a mistake and we need to investigate it.’ what should we do? Do we need to fight brother against brother? This is madness.”
Biden pledged to bring Americans together and work across the aisle. His success on both fronts may depend on the number of Republicans clinging to their electoral grievances. A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this month showed that 38% of registered voters, including 77% of Republicans, said they believed there was widespread fraud in the presidential election.
A recent Fox News poll found that 36% of voters, including 77% of Trump voters, believe the election was stolen from Trump. However, the same poll also found that about 8 in 10 voters overall, and about half of Trump voters, said they would at least give Biden a chance as president.
Matt Verlaine, 52, a member of the pro-Trump “Long Island Loud Majority” group, is in no mood to reconcile.
Verlaine, who lives in Bohemia, New York, is convinced “there was a lot more voter fraud than we know”, although he is not sure if that changed the outcome. But that won’t stop him from ripping around what he thinks is injustice. After all, that’s what the Democrats did to Trump, he says.
Did they not weep for four years over the unproven Russian complicity? So I’m going to cry now about voter fraud for four years. They didn’t accept it. Why did I accept Biden? I know I can’t do anything about it. I know that the march will not change the course of whoever is elected president. All that will be. But if my friends want to meet and complain about him peacefully and express our opinions, I will go. “
Others believe Biden won fairly and profitably. Steve Volkman, a Republican who works at construction in Mesa, Arizona, said he reconciled with Trump’s loss weeks ago.
“I voted for Trump, but people should get past that,” said Volkman, as he leaned over to his truck. Sure, (Biden) won the majority of the vote – by an overwhelming majority. For me, it’s already over. ”
Catherine Templeton, a Republican from South Carolina who served in former Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration, said that despite the level of support for Trump in red states such as her, she felt confident that voters would be willing to accept Biden as president.
“South Carolina clearly supports President Trump,” said Templeton, who lives in Charleston, “but I think you’ll see that when Republicans don’t get what they want, they move on.” “It’s time for a change. It’s time for a change. It’s time to move.”
It remains to be seen, for now, how persistent concerns about the integrity of the vote will affect turnout in the upcoming elections. Both parties focused on Georgia, where the second round of elections will determine which party controls the US Senate.
Dennis Adams, 50, said she had her doubts about “questionable activity” in the general election. But she went out to vote early on Monday in the northwestern suburb of Kensau.
“I don’t want to lose our freedoms,” she said, repeating the Republican Party’s misleading claims that the Democrats will enter “socialism.” “We are losing our rights and freedoms in our country.”
“I’ve never had a problem before now, but now I feel like there might be something I don’t trust,” said Melissa Mc Juncken, 40, who remains concerned about the fairness of her vote after hearing the stories. Voters fraud in the general election, but turned out anyway.
“I think it’s important to what happens next,” she said.
I mentioned Cooper from Mesa, Arizona. Associated Press writers Emily Swanson in Washington, Nicholas Ricardi in Atlanta, Sophia Tulp in Rome, Georgia, and Meg Kennard in Colombia, South Carolina contributed to this report.