I have many friends and relatives who are registered Republicans. Recent polls suggest that a majority of Republicans do not believe that last November’s presidential election was essentially clean and fair. They believe that substantial fraud took place in the tabulation of votes in states like Georgia and Arizona that voted with their ballots (and therefore their entire slate of electors in the Electoral College) in favor of Biden. This blog is for you.
I have tried to be patient with these friends. I have hoped that they were not just “sore losers” who did not want to admit that Biden defeated Trump. But news coming out of Arizona should answer any doubts about the election in that state.
A little bit of background. Arizona has been a competitive state with Republicans having a slight edge over Democrats in the presidential elections. Nevertheless, with the significant growth of urban areas where Democrats tend to be stronger, the Democrats have been narrowing the gap. Here are the presidential results from the last 20 years.
Presidential elections (according to Arizona Presidential Election Voting History (270towin.com)
Republicans Democrats Republican margin
2020 Trump-R 49.1% Biden-D 49.4% – 0.3%
2016 Trump-R 48.7% Clinton-D 45.1% +3.6%
2012 Romney-R 53.7% Obama-D 44.6% +9.1%
2008 McCain-R 53.6% Obama-D 45.1% +8.5%
2004 Bush-R 54.9% Kerry-D 44.4% +10.5%
This gradually growing Democrat strength is also evidenced in the U.S. Senate races. Republicans won all of the races in the 21st century until 2018 when Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally (a Trump supporter) 50% to 47.6%. In that same 2018 election Democrats won 5 of the 9 congressional races in the state.
Therefore, it was widely expected that the 2020 presidential race between Trump and Biden would be competitive. Prior to election day, 11 of the 16 news agencies making predictions gave Biden a slight lead. The other five considered the election to be a toss-up.
According to the official results, Biden defeated Trump by some 10,000 votes 49.4% to 49.1%. Significant factors in Biden’s victory were a 3% increase in the number of Latino votes and a ringing endorsement by Cindy McCain (John McCain’s widow) which persuaded many traditional Republicans to vote for Biden.
Even though Biden’s victory was certified by Arizona’s election authorities, Trump claimed the election was fraudulent. Even after Biden’s inauguration, the Republican controlled State Senate in Arizona authorized the formation of the Maricopa County Presidential Ballot Audit to de a recount of the votes in that county. This was an extremely partisan endeavor carried out by Trump supporters who wanted to find extensive fraud. The final report of the audit was released two weeks ago (September 24,2021). The hand tabulated recount revealed that Biden had actually received 99 more votes than originally reported and Trump 261 fewer votes. (See Schwartz, David; Layne, Nathan (September 27, 2021). “‘Truth is truth’: Trump dealt blow as Republican-led Arizona audit reaffirms Biden win”. Reuters. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
My plea is that those who have claimed fraud in Arizona would admit the truth. If the state election authorities found no fraud, and if a Republican appointed private auditing firm could not find fraud, what evidence would persuade these “unbelievers”? There comes a point when the facts are overwhelming, when we must accept the truth even when we don’t like it. The truth is good for us. It can set us free.
8 thoughts on “Dear Republican Friends: Believe the Facts from Arizona”
Spot on article, Lindy. Really nice job of summarizing reality here. As a lifelong Republican who also happens to try to follow the teachings of Jesus, I could not take The Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount seriously and vote for Donald Trump in the last 2 elections. It is my hope that we will have a candidate who is truly sincere about fiscal responsibility along with social and climate concerns to vote for in 2024. What I do know for sure is that I will never be able to vote for a Trump style candidate . Thank you for another thoughtful article.
Hopefully, the Republicans will return to the high road of their better angels.
If Trump had won Georgia and Wisconsin would Arizona still have won the election for Biden?
By the way, though I voted republican in 2020, I did not vote for Biden or Trump. I did a write-in and was thankful to be able to vote.
There are 538 electors in the Electoral College. Therefore, a presidential candidate needs to receive a majority of those, at least 270, to win. In the election last year, Trump received 232 electors. If he had won Georgia (16) and Wisconsin (10), he would have received 258 electors, still 12 electors short.
In our democracy, all voters have the right to vote for their preferred candidate or submit a write/in name as you did. We then must recognize the winner. Our democracy is in danger when those who lose fair and square do not admit their loss. Those who still claim fraud in the Arizona election are being totally unreasonable and are unwilling to acknowledge the truth.
I am finding myself increasingly politically non-binary these days but remain theologically conservative. I did not vote for Trump or Biden as I could not in good conscience. I hope the majority of your Republican friends are atypical in their beliefs as It is hard for me to fathom anyone reasonable deluding themselves with theories that are so easily debunked. It is my hope that there is a presidential candidate in 2024 that I can vote for. The Democrats will probably put forth Biden again, so I hope that Republicans pull together towards finding a candidate for the future rather than unearthing flawed conspiracy theories of the past.
My hope is that many people, Republicans and Democrats, are more committed to the truth than they are to obviously false views about the elections.
I know I just commented but I wanted to say something else on this topic. I never questioned the results of this election. While I could not vote in good conscience for either the Republican or Democratic candidate, I had no problem with a Biden victory. I would have preferred Trump never received the nomination in 2016 and knew then that without a seismic Saul/Paul shift in Trump’s character that I would never be able to vote for him for anything short of off the island. His character based on his words and actions as President actually detreated in office which I would find hard to imagine if I had not observed it. I think that Trump’s nomination and presidency are the worst things that have occurred to the Republican Part in my lifetime and my lifetime includes the entire Nixon Administration. By the same logic, Trump’s ouster is the best thing that has happened to the party in the past decade. If only Republicans would realize that obvious truth and move forward.
Our democracy (and others around the world) are better when there are political parties that live up to their best values and not wallow in the mud of greed, dishonesty or manipulation.. May sincere people of good will of all political persuasion speak up and live out their highest virtues!