Ohio and 25 other states will field at least one 2020 presidential election denier on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Why it matters: Widespread election denial from GOP candidates has major implications for our democracy and shows how former President Trump has reshaped the Republican Party, Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Josh Kraushaar write.
The big picture: Nearly half of all Republican nominees in federal or statewide contests have questioned President Biden’s legitimate 2020 victory, FiveThirtyEight research finds.
Details: Senate candidate J.D. Vance and six other GOP congressional candidates in Ohio fully deny the results, while Attorney General Dave Yost — who is up for reelection — questioned them in a legal filing.
What he’s said: Asked by Spectrum News if he thought the 2020 election was stolen, Vance replied: “Yeah, I do.”
- In another interview with the Youngstown Vindicator, Vance baselessly claimed Trump “probably” won Ohio by a wider margin than the result certified by elections boards.
Separately, Vance believes Ohio’s lengthy early voting period creates “extraordinary opportunities for fraud” via absentee ballots.
Reality check: Voter records in Vance’s native Hamilton County reveal he cast absentee ballots in both the 2020 and 2021 general elections.
Of note: Vance’s hardline views have softened somewhat since defeating fellow election deniers in May’s Republican primary.
- His campaign has “no doubt Ohio’s election in 2022 will be run with integrity,” a spokesperson told the Washington Post.
- Vance also updated his website’s issues page last month to remove an earlier claim that Democrats want to legalize “ballot harvesting,” the derisive term for third-party ballot collection.
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