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Nearly every election-denying Republican in swing states lost their race

Had they won, election deniers could have thrown future elections into chaos by refusing to certify victories of Democratic candidates.

By Emily Singer - November 15, 2022
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Kari Lake
FILE - Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake arrives to a rally with former President Donald Trump on Oct. 9, 2022, in Mesa, Ariz. The Republicans running for Arizona's three top statewide offices have said they would not have signed off on the presidential results if they had held office in 2020 and have signaled that they want to overhaul the battleground state's elections.(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Kari Lake, the Arizona Republican who made the lie that the 2020 election was stolen the focus of her gubernatorial bid, officially lost to Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs Monday night.

Lake’s loss marks a critical milestone of the midterm elections. With her defeat, nearly every Republican who falsely proclaimed that the 2020 contest was stolen from former President Donald Trump lost their race for critical swing-state roles.

Had those election deniers won, experts believed they would have refused to certify a possible Democratic victory in the 2024 presidential elections, throwing the country into a constitutional crisis.

“If you care about the survival of our republic, we cannot give people power who will not honor elections,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in October as she urged voters to reject election deniers such as Lake. “We must have elected officials who honor that responsibility.”

Ultimately, these candidates’ losses prove that election denialism was a drag on the GOP in a midterm that failed to produce the “red wave” predicted by Republicans and election forecasters.

Democrats made protecting democracy a key issue, and exit polls showed that it resonated with voters. According to an exit poll by NBC News, 68% of voters believed that democracy in the United States is threatened.

“The [Arizona governor’s race] #AZGOV outcome is the exclamation point on how badly MAGA enthusiasts bombed last week — costing Rs eminently winnable races up and down the ballot,” the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman tweeted.

Here some of the election deniers who lost their races:

Kari Lake, Republican nominee for governor in Arizona

Lake was one of the loudest promoters of election lies, declaring that she wouldn’t have certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Arizona.

“We had a fraudulent election, a corrupt election, and we have an illegitimate president sitting in the White House,” Lake said in a June 2022 appearance on Fox News.

Lake filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to ban Arizona from using vote counting machines — which election deniers falsely believe helped steal the election from Trump — and demonized mail-in ballots.

Mark Finchem, Republican nominee for secretary of state in Arizona

State Rep. Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for Arizona secretary of state, was a key figure in the Trump campaign’s plot to overturn the 2020 election.

Finchem wanted the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines and conduct a “forensic” investigation, part of an effort to invalidate the results of the 2020 presidential election.

He also participated in a faux “hearing” some Arizona Republicans held in November 2020 to amplify Trump’s stolen election lies. And on Jan. 6, 2021, Finchem was on the Capitol grounds when a pro-Trump mob violently broke into the building to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.

Finchem lost to Democrat and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

Doug Mastriano, Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania

Like Lake, Mastriano also said he wouldn’t have certified the 2020 election.

Like Finchem, Mastriano helped organize another sham “hearing” in Pennsylvania where Trump campaign officials made baseless accusations of fraud, and he was on the Capitol grounds during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mastriano also helped organize the plot to send a fake slate of Republican electors who would vote for Trump, even though he lost the state. It was also anticipated that Mastriano would appoint someone as secretary of state to oversee Pennsylvania’s elections who didn’t believe in voting machines or ballot drop boxes.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected Mastriano, handing him a nearly 15-point defeat to Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a state Biden only carried by 1.2 points in 2020.

Tudor Dixon, Republican nominee for governor in Michigan

Dixon also lied about the 2020 election, falsely saying it was stolen and that Democrats engaged in “obvious” and “sloppy” voter fraud.

Dixon added that Trump “legitimately won the 2020 election,” which is a lie.

Ultimately, voters in Michigan overwhelmingly rejected Dixon’s candidacy. She lost to incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by nearly 11 points in a state Biden won by just 3 points in 2020.

Kristina Karamo, Republican nominee for secretary of state in Michigan

Karamo rose to prominence by lying about her experience as a poll watcher in Detroit, making baseless accusations that ballots were nefariously dropped off in the middle of the night in 2020 and that voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Biden in the state.

Ahead of the 2020 election, she filed a lawsuit to prevent election officials from counting absentee ballots in Detroit, which a judge rejected in a harsh ruling that accused Karamo of raising “a false flag of election law violations.”

“The idea that the Court would single out one community in the state to be treated adversely when Plaintiffs have provided no evidence in support of their allegation simply cannot be allowed to occur,” the judge said in the ruling.

Karamo ultimately faced a drubbing at the ballot box, losing to Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson by 14 points.

Tim Michels, Republican nominee for governor in Wisconsin

Michels made baseless allegations of fraud, saying, “There was certainly illegal ballots” and that, “President Trump probably would be president right now if we had election integrity.”

Just before Election Day, Michels proclaimed that if he won the governor’s race, Republicans “will never lose another election” in Wisconsin, implying he would overturn election results that elected Democrats. That comment led Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to warn voters that Michels is a threat to democracy.

“When you head to the polls on Election Day, remember that we’re fighting to protect our democracy, voting rights, and free, fair, and secure elections,” Evers tweeted.

Michels ultimately lost to Evers by nearly 4 points.

Jim Marchant, Republican nominee for secretary of state in Nevada

Marchant launched a group called the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which sought to “eliminate mail-in ballots,” end early voting, and implement strict voter ID laws. The group endorsed many of the candidates listed above.

He made wild and false accusations that Nevada hasn’t legitimately “elected anybody since 2006,” saying that anyone who represented the state since then was “installed by the deep state cabal.”

Marchant also was in favor of Trump’s fake elector scheme that is now under federal investigation and said he would think about using the same failed scheme again if Trump were to lose the 2024 contest in Nevada.

Marchant lost to Democratic Secretary of State-elect Francisco Aguilar by nearly 3 points.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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