Trump Is Already Trying to Contest Tomorrow's Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Donald Trump has spent his time out of office doing everything he can to destroy the American public’s faith in its election systems. Polls have indicated he’s succeeding, but the first big real-world litmus test could come tomorrow, as Trump-backed candidate Glenn Youngkin squares off against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial election.

The race has been hotly contested, and Youngkin and McAuliffe appear to be neck-and-neck. As of Monday morning, FiveThirtyEight has Youngkin ahead by just 0.6 in polling averages. The slim margin means Youngkin very much could lose. Trump made clear Monday morning that if this does happen he very much intends to question the legitimacy of the results, thus taking another swing at the wedge he’s been driving between the American people and democracy.

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“I am not a believer in the integrity of Virginia’s elections, lots of bad things went on and are going on,” the former president wrote in a statement released Monday morning. “The way you beat it is to flood the system and get out and vote.”

President Biden won Virginia in a landslide last November, besting Trump by over 10 percentage points. There is no evidence any significant voter fraud occurred.

Trump’s statement on Monday was ostensibly intended to ensure voters that he and Youngkin and simpatico. Youngkin has embraced Trump at times, but recently has seemed like he’s trying to steer clear of the former president — perhaps in an effort to court moderate voters. He said in September that he would have voted to certify the 2020 election results. In October, he tried to distance himself from an event held in support of his campaign in which attendees said the “Pledge of Allegiance” to a flag carried on Jan. 6.

The event in October also featured Trump, who called in to claim that the 2020 election was “the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere.” It was one of the night’s themes. Mark Finchem, a key figure in Arizona’s “forensic” audit of the 2020 election results, attended in person. “Donald Trump won,” he said, reportedly to a standing ovation.

Youngkin didn’t mince words when asked last week whether he will accept the results of Tuesday’s election. “Yes, of course, of course,” he said.

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