With the Iowa Caucuses only hours away, Democratic presidential candidates are doing a last minute push to convince caucus-goers that they're the best choice to defeat President Donald Trump this November.
Naturally, Trump's allies are trying to introduce the same disinformation that helped the President's 2016 campaign carry a victory.
Though no official ballots are cast in the Iowa caucuses, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch—a pro-Trump platform often endorsed by the President on Twitter—posted a claim that eight Iowa counties had more voters registered than there were eligible voters in each county.
BREAKING: @JudicialWatch: Eight Iowa Counties Have Total Registration Rates Larger than Eligible Voter Population –… https://t.co/89l1dflXou— Tom Fitton (@Tom Fitton)1580745814.0
That claim—like much of those made by Judicial Watch—was false and quickly rebuked by Iowa's own Secretary of State: Republican Paul Pate.
Pate initially replied to Fitton's claim directly.
@TomFitton @JudicialWatch This is a false claim. The actual data is available on the Secretary of State’s website f… https://t.co/0DNScmKQII— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate)1580750330.0
But Fitton continued to double down.
Our 2019 data is accurate. Today's numbers released by your agency still show voter registration rates that are way… https://t.co/yHKKerqbD1— Tom Fitton (@Tom Fitton)1580751744.0
Secretary Pate responded in an official statement.
A D.C.-based organization made false claims today regarding voter registration information in eight Iowa counties.… https://t.co/7yw9hIr7A5— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate)1580760330.0
It’s unfortunate this organization continues to put out inaccurate data regarding voter registration, and it’s espe… https://t.co/wGrxHzVc5q— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate)1580760330.0
Pate's statement read in part:
"It's unfortunate this organization continues to put out inaccurate data regarding voter registration, and it's especially disconcerting they chose the day of the Iowa Caucus to do this. My office has told this organization, and others who have made similar claims, that their data regarding Iowa is deeply flawed and their false claims erode voter confidence in elections. They should stop this misinformation campaign immediately and quit trying to disenfranchise Iowa voters."
People called out Judicial Watch for its strategic spreading of false information.
Republican Secretary of State says Republican organization is anti-democracy. #BlueWave2020 https://t.co/KvTzerYOvh— Paul Moment (@Paul Moment)1580761588.0
Judicial Watch is garbage. https://t.co/rERt8lAEwD— Alan Wessman (@Alan Wessman)1580756780.0
Question for @JudicialWatch: Have you finally decided to go all in on dishonesty and abandon facts altogether? It… https://t.co/hqfmP1kIma— Dave Dickinson #RightMatters (@Dave Dickinson #RightMatters)1580758696.0
They also routinely spread absolute garbage about almost everything. https://t.co/NrpxnWn9K7— Mme. Defarge 52 USC 30121 (a) (2) (@Mme. Defarge 52 USC 30121 (a) (2))1580757457.0
Conservatives already out there prepping a narrative for being cheated out of winning things. https://t.co/hKr7Oqsbbj— Eric Ranschau 🏳️🌈 (@Eric Ranschau 🏳️🌈)1580757038.0
Spread this information far and wide please. We need to nip these things in the bud https://t.co/CbmGZrW0Ot— Chris Powell (@Chris Powell)1580756674.0
Right wing dirty tricks on the eve of the Iowa Caucusses. Shameful and Dangerous. https://t.co/mWAAdYBfgB— Trial Lawyer Richard (@Trial Lawyer Richard)1580761323.0
The Iowa Caucuses are just the beginning of the long process to find who will face off against Trump in 2020. The disinformation is just beginning.
To arm yourself against disinformation, check out Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare, available here.