For weeks, a campaign called "Republican Voters Against Trump" (RVAT) has been posting testimonials on social media of lifelong Republicans explaining why they can't back President Donald Trump and are bucking their party to support Joe Biden.
In response to the group's success and reach, a new group has sprung up calling itself "Democrat Voters Against Joe Biden," meant to suggest the opposite — disaffected Democrats driven to support Trump by their party's supposed radicalism.
There's just one problem: according to Lachlan Markey of The Daily Beast, Democrat Voters Against Joe Biden doesn't actually have any Democrats.
DVAJB is funded by Americans for Responsible Government, a right-wing political nonprofit run by Steve Nickolas, "an Arizona bottled water businessman who’s been involved in a handful of conservative political advocacy groups in recent years." Also involved in the venture is John Michael Capaldi, a self-described "internationally known celebrity psychic, life coach and stylist" who teaches "classes" on ghost hunting and exorcism.
According to the report, "Language on its website is copied nearly verbatim from the RVAT website, with some minor stylistic changes and Biden’s name switched out for Trump’s." But the only testimonial currently on the website is Tracey Chavez, whose son Chris is another Nickolas associate who worked as a field organizer for the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee. The elder Chavez can be seen holding up a Democratic voter registration card — but the date of his registration is unclear, and according to his son, he "supported [Trump] for president back in the 80s before he ever considered politics."
Nickolas acknowledged to The Daily Beast the absence of actual Democrats. “We’ve only been live for a week and a half,” said Nickolas. “We haven't really been overwhelmed with interest but we haven't really pushed it as much as we plan on doing.”