Monday, October 25, 2021

Macomb County GOP peddles falsehoods about election fraud, backs Trump-endorsed candidates

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2021 at 10:49 AM

click to enlarge Trump rally in Macomb County on Sept. 11, 2020. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Trump rally in Macomb County on Sept. 11, 2020.

The increasingly influential Macomb County Republican Party has gone full-blown conspiratorial by falsely claiming the 2020 election was “stolen” and calling Joe Biden’s victory the “culmination of a four-year coup.”

The party made the debunked claims in an Oct. 21 letter backing former President Donald Trump’s endorsements for two critical 2022 statewide races – Matthew DePerno for Michigan attorney general and Kristina Karamo for secretary of state.

“President Trump has declared publicly that Michigan is the most corrupt state in the union,” the letter states. “After pushing for a complete audit for the last 10 months and witnessing numerous roadblocks by our own elected officials, we have discovered that he is right.”

DePerno and Karamo were endorsed by Trump after repeatedly advancing falsehoods about the presidential election.

There is no evidence of widespread fraud, and numerous audits, recounts, and courts have reaffirmed Biden’s victory.

Nevertheless, the endorsements by the Macomb County GOP are significant. Unlike the gubernatorial race, candidates for secretary of state and attorney general aren't decided in a primary election. Instead, political parties choose their candidates during a convention, and those candidates advance to the general election.

Macomb County, once home to the so-called Reagan Democrats, was key to Trump’s victory in Michigan in 2016, delivering him about 48,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton, or nearly five times Trump’s margin of victory statewide. Macomb County, the third-largest county in the state, now has more Republican voters than any other county in Michigan, eclipsing its affluent neighbor, Oakland County, a longtime GOP stronghold that twice rejected Trump and elected Democrats to every countywide office except for sheriff in 2020. Macomb has even surpassed Kent County, home of Grand Rapids and GOP megadonors like Dick and Betsy DeVos. The longtime stronghold for Republicans also flipped for Biden in 2020.

Macomb County’s support of Trumpism could backfire, political analysts say. While outspoken Trumpian candidates are likely to have an advantage in primary elections, they’re less likely to win a general election because many independents and moderates are turned off by Trump’s lies and brash, combative demeanor.

"The Republican Party as a whole in the state of Michigan is really trying to figure out how to thread this needle," Charles Shipan, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, told Metro Times for a recent cover story. "The more extreme the candidate that emerges from the primary, the less likely he or she will win in the general election. Yet primaries bring out people who feel the most passionate about the issues, and that is more likely than not to be from the Trump side of the party. Republicans are in a tough position."

Macomb County is far from alone in its devotion to Trump and its lies about the election. Progress Michigan, a progressive advocacy group, reviewed Facebook pages and groups controlled by county Republican parties and found that 64% of them have pushed election lies between Nov. 3 and June 30. Of the active Facebook pages, an astounding 98% have referenced false claims of electoral wrongdoing.

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