Glenn Youngkin Surrogates Allege Fraud Ahead of Virginia Gov. Race - Rolling Stone
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Glenn Youngkin’s Campaign Surrogates Are Already Crying Fraud Ahead of Virginia’s Gubernatorial Election — So Is Trump

The Republican can’t disentangle himself from the election fraud conspiracy theories that helped win him the nomination

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin addresses supporters at a campaign rally in Leesburg, Va., Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Youngkin faces Democratic gubernatorial candidate former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the Nov. 2, election.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin addresses supporters at a campaign rally in Leesburg, Va., on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

Cliff Owen/AP Images

Glenn Youngkin has spent the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election distancing himself from Donald Trump, as well as the idea that the 2020 election was rigged. Youngkin has, anyway. His campaign surrogates are not.

State Senator Amanda Chase, perhaps Virginia’s most vehement election fraud conspiracy theorist, has been speaking on Youngkin’s behalf for months — and has been doing so at the request of Youngkin, The Washington Post reported in September. On Tuesday, Popular Information pointed out that Chase has spent the days leading up to the election raising doubts about the validity of the election. “I know how Democrats are cheating,” she said in an interview last week. “And that information has been given to the Youngkin campaign.”

Chase has also been making the claim on social media, prompting Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to prod her for the proof she’s touting. She refused saying only that the “right people have the information” and that she’ll release a full report after the election. Popular Information also noted that when Youngkin appeared with country singer John Rich last week, Rich, a Trump supporter, pushed the idea that elections in California and Georgia were rigged.

There’s also Trump himself, who has been a vocal supporter of Youngkin even as Youngkin has tried to steer his campaign clear of the former president. 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 Virginia gubernatorial race could be the first big real-world litmus test.

The race has been hotly contested, and Youngkin and Democrat Terry 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.

“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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