Archive for Monday, October 17, 2016

Analysis: Trump ‘rigged’ vote claim may leave lasting damage

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the Republican Hindu Coalition, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the Republican Hindu Coalition, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

October 17, 2016


— Donald Trump keeps peddling the notion the vote may be rigged. It's unclear whether he understands the potential damage of his words, or simply doesn't care.

Trump's claim, made without evidence, undercuts the essence of American democracy, the idea that U.S. elections are free and fair, with the vanquished peacefully stepping aside for the victor. His repeated assertions are sowing suspicion among his most ardent supporters, raising the possibility that millions of people may not accept the results on Nov. 8 if Trump loses.

The responsibilities for the New York billionaire in such a scenario are minimal. Trump holds no public office and has said he'll simply go back to his "very good way of life" if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins.

Instead, Clinton and congressional Republicans, should they retain control, would be left trying to govern in a country divided not just by ideology, but also the legitimacy of the presidency.

As Trump's campaign careens from crisis to crisis, he's broadened his unfounded allegations that Clinton, her backers and the media are conspiring to steal the election. He's accused Clinton of meeting with global financial powers to "plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty" and argued his opponent shouldn't have even been allowed to seek the White House.

"Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election."

Trump is referring to Clinton's use of a private email system while serving as secretary of state. Republicans, and some Democrats, have harshly criticized her decision to do so, but the FBI did not recommend anyone face criminal charges for her use of a private email address run on a personal server.

Trump has offered only broad assertions about the potential for voter fraud and the complaints that the several women who have recently alleged he sexually accosted them are part of an effort to smear his campaign.

"It's one big ugly lie, it's one big fix," Trump told a rally in North Carolina on Friday, adding later: "And the only thing I say is hopefully, hopefully, our patriotic movement will overcome this terrible deception."

Trump's supporters appear to be taking his grievances seriously. Only about one-third of Republicans said they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence that votes on Election Day will be counted fairly, according to poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

During a campaign event Tuesday with Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, a voter said she was deeply concerned about voter fraud and pledged to be "ready for a revolution" if Clinton wins.

Pence waved away the woman's rallying cry, saying, "Don't say that." And on Sunday, in an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press," he said the campaign will "accept the will of the American people, you bet."

There is no evidence voter fraud is a widespread problem in the United States. A study by a Loyola Law School professor found that out of 1 billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud.

Trump's motivations for stoking these sentiments seem clear.

One of his last hopes of winning the election is to suppress turnout by making these final weeks so repulsive to voters that some just stay home. Trump advisers privately say they hope to turn off young people in particular. This group leans Democratic but doesn't have a long history of voting and is already skeptical of Clinton.

Trump is also likely considering how he would spin a loss to Clinton, given that he's spent decades cultivating a brand based on success and winning. His years in public life offer few examples where he's owned up to his own failings and plenty where he's tried to pass the blame on to others, as he's now suggesting he would do if he's defeated.

Clinton appears increasingly aware that if she wins, she'd arrive at the White House facing more than the usual political divides. "Damage is being done that we're going to have to repair," she said during a recent campaign stop.

But that task wouldn't be Clinton's alone.

The majority of Trump's supporters are Republicans. If he loses, party leaders will have to reckon with how much credence they give to claims the election was rigged and how closely they can work with a president whom at least some GOP backers will likely view as illegitimate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office wouldn't say Saturday whether he agreed with Trump's assertions the election is being rigged. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Ryan is "fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity."

Republicans have already experienced the paralyzing effect of Trump stirring up questions about a president's legitimacy. He spent years challenging President Barack Obama's citizenship, deepening some GOP voters' insistence that the party block the Democrat at every turn.

Jim Manley, a former adviser to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., recalled the skepticism some Republicans had about Obama. "I'm afraid a President Clinton is going to start off with far too many people raising similar questions," he said.


Bob Smith 1 year, 6 months ago

The usual suspects on the left side of the aisle are still moaning about the "rigged" vote count in Florida in 2000. The republic seems to have survived.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 6 months ago

The republic survived a mishandled election decided by SCOTUS rather than the will of the people, no thanks to the worst president in recent history. But Gore didn't set the tone by claiming that the election was going to be rigged beforehand, nor did he refuse to concede once he'd exhausted all legal means to dispute the results. He never once implied that we should resort to violent remedies.

If you can't tell the difference here, you're part of the problem.

Michael Kort 1 year, 6 months ago

Trump is a fraud, a known liar, so what does anyone expect him to say, when he assumes that he is going to loose ?.

5 bankruptcies where he never went without paying himself first but destroyed others financially .

He lied about Obamas birth country for over five years . Not exactly following the Ten Commandments about false accusations ?

He stole the $258,000 in money that others gave to his Cheritable Foundation to use for his corporate debts, a political donation and for personal expenses . all illegal ! He should be injail !

He gropes women and brags about it to Billy Bush ? Jail time needed !

He invades beauty pageant dressing rooms where teenage girls are naked under the guise of inspecting the pageant and then brags about that to Howard Stern about his corporate peaking of naked teen contestants, in places that he shouldn't go peaking ? Isn't that a crime ! ?

He plays to the bigoted and the fearful, to play one group off against the other, to achieve his own sick ends . He's a pro, at devicivness !

So, what is new about his self serving behaviors ?

So, why does anyone take him seriously ?

So isn't he a self admitted ( to Billy Bush and Howard Sterm ) a sexual predator who should be tried in a court of law for his deeds ? ( he is a fully grown adult ! )

Michael Kort 1 year, 6 months ago

Has anybody noticed that it's always somebody else,..... with Trump.

It's "Lying Ted" and not "lying about Obamas' birth country Trump" !

It's the Clinton Foundation and not his illegal $ self dealing form Trumps own foundation !

It's Bill Clintons past problems with women and not his own admitting to groping women that he meets on tape or invading the dressing rooms of naked beauty pageant teens that he admitted doing to Howard Stern !

He hangs with voter rights deniers, like Kris Kobach but it is others who are going to fix elections against himself !

This is a pattern, so pay attention to what he faults others for because it should be obvious that those are probably. problem areas for Trumps campaign .

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 6 months ago

Michel, Michel, Michel....................get a grip pal!! The legions of Hillary's deplorables will be on your doorstep!! You better quit being so truthful and dedicated to exposing the REAL truth about this braying jackass or you might be next on his hit list. We all know what he is.

But I would echo your distress call......"So, why does anyone take him seriously ?"

Calvin Anders 1 year, 6 months ago

Trumps claims are damaging, but they would not be touching a nerve if there were not any whiff of an issue with voting. The rise of paperless voting machines and/or machines that create a paper trail but state law prevents results from being reviewed (as in Kansas) has created an environment where questions about fraud and manipulation are out there. I personally think Trump's accusation is just to make things more ugly and divisive, but we should take the opportunity to make the voting process more open and transparent. If the system stays closed off, we will have more accusations of cheating and perhaps eventually actual rigging.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 6 months ago

Vote absentee. It leaves a paper ballot.

Carol Bowen 1 year, 6 months ago

Mmm. There's no way to do a valid recount.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 6 months ago

In Douglas County there is. But if we had strictly electronic voting machines, I would vote absentee.

Michael Kort 1 year, 6 months ago

SO, why does Donald Trump keep saying that Hillary should be in jail ?

Is it conscious or unconscious blame shifting ?

Is he worried about being jailed for his own crimes ?

There is always the possibility that the Clintons hired him with some promised reward, to run against her and self destruct before Election Day .

Maybe this whole election is a Reality TV Creation ?......and we the people are manipulated into thinking that we have a choice .

The larger problems of the world are economic and I think that neither of the "esteemed candidates" are going to be able to solve those because the worlds economies are rediculously credit driven, world wide, which exceeds the worlds GDP by tons, so debts are just building, with no end in sight world wide and something has to give wether it might be one investment bank in Germany ( that the German chancellor has said that she won't bail out ) going broke on derivatives and destroying the European Central Bank ( the British who have left their need to support the European Central Bank behind might get the last laugh if anyone can laugh that one off ) and other world wide investment banks and their customers, due to derivative gambling collapses or of a shift away from the dollar as the worlds reserve currency as countries try and move from central banks backed by countries to another for like the IMF turns our ecomomy upside down . .

Neither one of these two candidates are a Franklin Delano Rosevelt nor will we or the world economically recover from the next Great Depression again thru a World War Economy, as we did thru WW2 ( WW3 will be nuclear and no one will be untouched, the US was for the most part of WW2, aside from Hawaii ) ( THE DAY AFTER ? ) .

Fred.....The Trump supporters need to realize that other folks don't necessarily see halloes around Trumps head when he opens his mouth,... or even theirs... for obvious reasons .

No....Hillary and Bill are no saints .

I have no illusions about them and Trump could just be part of their Reslity TV Show ?

The smartest people in the room are just making the worlds economic troubles worse and that is that so it must benefit someone ?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 6 months ago

I probably don't agree with Pence on a lot of things, but I can't help feel sorry for him. Sure hope his party has promised him some good reward.

Michael Kort 1 year, 6 months ago


How well did the supporters of Stalin, Mao or Hitler do ? ..........and why ......except that they worshiped at the alters of dictators ?

Pence does't know it but he is on his way up the "enemies list" as is anyone else that helps or is a threat to "Donald's All Powerful Whatever ",......including the Republican Party, which gave birth to him, politically .

Dictators turn on those who empower them because their need for uncontrolled power is insatiable .......they just have to be themselves ! What else were Hitler, Stain and Mao up to but being who they were and making the world pay the price for it .

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 6 months ago

So your buddy Kobach, who is advising Trump on this, insists there is widespread fraud in elections. Now I would almost believe that, because somehow Republicans keep winning elections in Kansas, despite the mess they have created. But Kobach, who managed to get prosecutorial powers has only found three cases. And I believe they were all registered Republicans. And all of us Clinton supporters don't attend the rallies, because we don't believe that candidates for president are rock stars. Signs, rallies do not win an election, voting does. Besides, you do know that your social media promotes things that are of interest to you, right? I get lots of people supporting Clinton in my social media, and only Trump stuff from family and friends who support him, and half of them I debunk really quick. Please learn about the internet and social media. Here I'll get you started:

Jerome Bradley 1 year, 6 months ago

Supplemental to Dorthy's post:

Here is a Wall Street Journal article that lets you interact with different Facebook feeds based on different leanings. It makes you think about what your being fed by social media based on your own personal biases and how it basically shows you what you want to see.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 6 months ago

You can see with your own eyes that almost nobody in bright red Kansas has a Hillary bumper sticker and therefore it proves something something? You do know they don't require them in order to vote for her, right? I've never sported a yard sign or a bumper sticker for anyone, and yet I've never been turned away at the polls.

I gotta say that this year, I've seen fewer bumper stickers or yard signs for all candidates. It's a bit weird. It's not a sign that the election was rigged.

Barb Gordon 1 year, 6 months ago

Hahaha! I'm so not surprised to find out that you're from out of state.

And you think all the bitter Bernie Bros gonna deliver your blue, blue state for Trump because they aren't putting HRC stickers on their cars? Only if they're all named "Heckler."

I've heard multiple people in multiple states say the same thing. This year, there's just not a lot of yard signs or bumper stickers. Yard signs = not statistically valid polling data.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 6 months ago

So now Trump has insulted every election official and worker in the country. Is there any group he hasn't insulted?

Jim Slade 1 year, 6 months ago

Trump is just laying the foundation to blame his loss on anything other than his own big fat mouth.

Bob Summers 1 year, 6 months ago

If there is NO rigging, why do dead people ALWAYS vote Democrat?

Kendall Simmons 1 year, 6 months ago

You mean like the dead Democrat who voted in Wichita and about whom Kobach was so proud of discovering that he called a press conference?

Of course, the local newspaper actually went to the dead man's address...only to find him out front mowing his lawn. Seems poor Kris had confused him with his late father.

Michael Kort 1 year, 6 months ago

I would say that Kobach has worked very hard to keep thousands from the voter rolls, by changing the standards for new voters even though many Republican voter did not have to show a birth certificate to become a voter ( who is Grandfathered in ), with better voter rights than others who seek to register ( now ) who must meet a higher standard than the "blessed ones", so I consider that to be election rigging and open fraud .

In a magority Republican state all you have to do is keep younger voters out, who might not favor the old guard, to hang onto control of state you make it difficult for out of state college kids to become voters or for those pesky transplants to KS. from elsewhere to become voters .

Bob Summers 1 year, 6 months ago

New reports have surfaced which say that “tens of thousands” of fraudulent ballot slips have been found in a downtown Columbus, Ohio warehouse. In addition, the slips were pre-marked for Hillary and other Democratic candidates. From Your News Wire:

Randall Prince, a Columbus-area electrical worker, was performing routine checks of his companies wiring and electrical systems when he stumbled across approximately one dozen black, sealed ballot boxes filled with thousands of Franklin County votes for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic Party candidates. “No one really goes in this building. It’s mainly used for short-term storage by a commercial plumber,” Prince said.

So when Prince, a Trump supporter, saw several black boxes in an otherwise empty room, he went to investigate. What he found could be evidence of an alleged election fraud operation designed to deliver Clinton the crucial swing state.

Early voting does not begin in Ohio until October 12, so no votes have officially been cast in the Buckeye state. However, inside these boxes were, what one source described as, “potentially tens of thousands of votes” for Hillary Clinton.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 6 months ago

Who owns this company, Bob? What is its political agenda, Bob? Do you know of any reputable organization that uses/endorses this company?

Maybe you can find something on youtube or facebook or twitter or some other super trustworthy source to uphold your wild accusations and unbelievably childish thoughts, Bob.

Try something with a history, Bob.

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