As Donald Trump’s polling numbers continue to drop after the revelation of his Access Hollywood tape, he’s going to increasing extreme lengths to claim the election will be stolen from him. Most recently, he shot off two Saturday morning tweets that outright accused the Clinton campaign of colluding with the media in “rigging” the election against him:
But this is far from the first time Trump has questioned the legitimacy of the election.
As far back as the 2012 election, he was accusing President Obama of having won a second term thanks to dead voters, illegal immigrants, and specifically, the rigging of voting machines in inner-city Philadelphia.
And even before his poll numbers plummeted, Trump was declaring that his loss was a fait accompli of Clinton and the media. At a rally in Ohio on August 1, he warned the crowd to “be careful, because that election is going to be rigged.” He repeated himself on Fox News the same night, saying “I’m telling you, Nov. 8, we better be careful because that election is going to be rigged.”
Recently, he went after African-American voters in Philadelphia on October 10th, declaring, “So important that you watch other communities, because we don't want this election stolen from us.”
While it’s tempting to write off Trump’s declarations as a pre-emptive justification for losing, it’s clear he is attempting to muddy the public’s confidence in free and fair elections. Indeed, election experts have an increasing fear that Trump simply won’t accept the results of the vote, leading to rioting and violence.
The Boston Globe quoted a number of Trump rally-goers echoing these exact thoughts. For example, one man mirrored Trump’s warning about “other communities” by saying “Trump said to watch your precincts. I’m going to go, for sure. I’ll look for . . . well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American.”
One Trump supporter claimed:
“Trump is going to win the popular vote by a landslide, and the Electoral College will elect Hillary, because of all the corruption.”
“We’re going to have a lot of election fraud. They are having illegals vote. In some states, you don’t need voter registration to vote.”
A few even outright threatened armed revolt, with one man likely earning himself a Secret Service visit by saying:
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot.”
Even elected officials are starting to beat the “rigged election” drum.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama declared during an October 15th rally that “they are attempting to rig this election, and they will not succeed.”
Mike Pence has thus far resisted the cries of rigging, telling one Trump supporter “Don’t say that” after she declared that “voter fraud” would get Hillary into office, and only a revolution could get her out. But as Trump’s campaign continues to sink under the weight of sex abuse allegations, he might prove to be a solitary voice of relative sanity.
ATTN: reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on Trump’s allegations, but did not hear back.