DALLAS — Texas has more 2020 election deniers running for US House or statewide office than any other state in the country, according to FiveThirtyEight, a political website.
President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. More than 60 lawsuits tried to prove fraud and overturn the results, and none have succeeded. Still, according to FiveThirtyEight's research, 201 of 552 republican candidates this November fully deny the election results.
“It’s not surprising because remember this has been an issue since Jan. 6,” Kimi Lynn King, a political science professor at the University of North Texas said.
King says politicians continue to push the baseless claim about the election to motivate republican voters along with economic issues while democrats focus on abortion bans or student loan forgiveness.
“They need to keep the momentum going to make sure they’re reliable republican voters turn out,” King said. “What motivates voters is not just their preferences about a candidate, but it’s their intensity about those preferences.”
According to FiveThirtyEight’s research, only two of Texas’ 38 candidates running for US House fully accept the election results.
“If you look in terms of the statistical evidence, it simply does not exist,” King said.
She believes possibly more important to watch in November are 10 states where the secretary of state candidate is an election denier and could leave future results in perpetual audits, make it harder to vote and create more doubt in elections.
“The secretary of state has a great deal of power in how they review the election results,” King said.
Republican Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton has fully denied the 2020 election results, even suing but failing to overturn Joe Biden’s win, and Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who’s running for reelection, has raised questions about the results and demanded an audit hours after former President Donald Trump asked for the same audit.
Locally, Kay Granger is the only Republican candidate running for US House who fully accepted the election results. Beth Van Duyne, Keith Self, Michael Burges and Lance Gooden fully deny the 2020 results. Jake Ellzey has raised questions about the results. Other candidates refused to answer.
King believes 2022 and 2024 could test the strength of democracy in the country.
“Everyone after the 2020 election, on both sides, need to be thinking about what our democracy is,” she said.