Over the weekend, Donald Trump reinvigorated his pleas against the so-called rigged election in a barrage of tweets lambasting not only his political opponent Hillary Clinton and the media at large, but also Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for being a bystander.
According to Trump, the media is rigging the election toward Clinton; the GOP establishment and Paul Ryan are working against him; and if Clinton wins in November, it will be because of large-scale voter fraud.
Voter fraud! Crooked Hillary Clinton even got the questions to a debate, and nobody says a word. Can you imagine if I got the questions?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
WikiLeaks proves even the Clinton campaign knew Crooked mishandled classified info, but no one gets charged? RIGGED! https://t.co/FgGxDsS0a1— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me.Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2016
This election is being rigged by the media pushing false and unsubstantiated charges, and outright lies, in order to elect Crooked Hillary!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2016
This is certainly not the first time Trump has said the election has been — or will be — rigged against him; he first raised the conspiracies over voter fraud and Clinton-media cahoots in August and renews the claim every time he seems to be slipping in the polls. After Ryan said he would no longer campaign for Trump, the Republican nominee added him to the list of things working against him.
As it is now, days before the final debate, and less than a month before Election Day, the polls don’t look great for Trump. He seems to recognize this, tweeting about the negative impact the sexual assault allegations have had on his campaign (although he blames the media for putting out “fabricated” stories about them).
As my colleague Dara Lind explains, it is an attempt to preemptively excuse a possible loss in November and retain his much-cared-about image as a winner. But it also could have adverse results in November, fueling Trump supporters to rebuke — and possibly protest — the results.
Even Trump’s vice presidential pick Mike Pence thinks this is a bad idea, telling a supporter to stop calling for a revolution after Election Day. “We will absolutely accept the result of the election. Look, the American people will speak in an election that will culminate on November the 8th,” Pence told Chuck Todd on Sunday’s Meet The Press. “But the American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media. That's where the sense of a rigged election goes here, Chuck.”
That, however, hasn’t stopped Trump from pushing the idea that the election is unfairly rigged.