Trump, allies are laying the groundwork to contest potential election loss

by Nathan Layne and Alexandra Ulmer at

(Reuters) – Donald Trump and his allies are laying the groundwork to contest a potential loss in November, stoking doubts about the election’s legitimacy even as opinion polls show the Republican presidential candidate leading in battleground states.

In recent interviews, Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election results. At his rallies, he has portrayed Democrats as cheaters, called mail-in ballots corrupt and urged supporters to vote in such large numbers to render the election “too big to rig.”

He also backed a new Republican-sponsored bill aimed at keeping foreigners from voting, seeking to link his false election fraud claims with the issue of illegal immigration, even though voting by non-citizens is already unlawful and studies show it is exceedingly rare.

Trump’s tactics are an intensified version of the strategy he used during the 2020 election, when his baseless voter fraud claims inspired his supporters to assault the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn his election defeat.

Rather than being cowed by looming criminal trials over his conduct in the wake of the 2020 election, Trump is repeating the falsehoods that polls show resonate with his supporters while readying the legal firepower needed to launch a similar challenge to the validity of the vote this year.