The newest talking point from the troubled Trump campaign is that the election is “rigged.” Well, it’s not exactly new, but the Republican nominee is doubling down on this claim after his polls took a swan dive in light of his growing number of scandals.
In other words, Clinton has Trump backed into a corner. Since he’s a fighter, he’s going to come out swinging.
Naturally, Trump made these claims on his Twitter account. This is just one gem from early Sunday morning:
Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
There are several issues here.
First, the polls are not close. With about three weeks to go, Hillary Clinton is leading by an average of 4 points among likely voters. Sure, some online polls may have Trump at 90%, but I don’t think those are particularly representative of the American people as a whole.
Second, yes, we conservatives know all about media’s bias, unfair coverage, and ruined reputations. (Attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas are just one example.) Yet, it doesn’t matter if the media’s claims are true or not. There is video evidence of Trump claiming that it is okay to sexually assault a woman because of one’s status. At that point, he’s made the claims believable, but this fact does not occur to Trump. He is obviously the best candidate, so the only reason he is behind is because the left has rigged the polls.
Third, and this is perhaps the saddest part about this claim, is that Trump’s not technically wrong. Voter fraud is a legitimate threat to the integrity of our democratic systems. A Pew Research study from 2012 found that one in eight voter registrations are either inaccurate or invalid. That could affect nearly 20 million votes in this election.
Unfortunately, Trump’s actions will only undermine efforts at election reform. Instead of taking this threat seriously, voters will look at Trump’s “Hail Mary” and write it off as just another crazy conspiracy.