It's been nearly a year since former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election to now-President Joe Biden, which means it's been nearly a year since Trump and his allies began broadcasting the delusion that victory was "stolen" from Trump through Democrats engaging in widespread election fraud.
Trump's election fantasies wreaked havoc on the nation, using lies to erode public trust in American elections, culminating in a deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol.
Yet an unignorable number of Republican elected officials have entertained or outright embraced these election delusions, and in some ways, it's beginning to backfire.
Back in January, as Trump ramped up his campaign against the legitimacy of American democracy ahead of the joint congressional session certifying Biden's victory, the runoff elections for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia were set to occur. Sure enough, both seats went blue.
Make no mistake, this was possible due to Black voting rights advocates in Georgia mobilizing Democratic turnout at unprecedented levels, but also because 752,000 Georgia Republican voters who cast ballots in the November 3rd election between Trump and Biden stayed home in the Senate races.
This was after Trump had publicly slammed Georgia Republican governor Brian Kemp and Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger for not doing enough to overturn the results of Georgia's presidential election results. It was also after pro-Trump extremists like Lin Wood told Republicans not to vote in a "rigged election."
Now, Trump—still the most beloved figure among Republican voters—is threatening to do it again, saying in a statement:
"If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 and '24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do."
In other words, if Republicans don't overturn the 2020 election results to deliver Trump a victory, the party's voters will stay home in the midterms and the 2024 presidential election.
With Democrats facing grim prospects in the midterms, Trump's critics predictably had no problem with this.
Others surmised that Trump was merely encouraging Republican state legislatures to pass more voter suppression laws, while some warned this path could result in flipped red states like Georgia.
We won't know for sure until November of next year.