One of the reasons President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about voter fraud resonate with his supporters is they simply don’t know anyone who’s voting for Joe Biden.
New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters interviewed Trump supporters around the country who are sure Democrats can’t win without cheating, and he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that was setting up a dangerous dynamic for the post-election period.
“Because of the geographical separation that people have from one another of different political views, often, these days, they don’t know anybody who is not voting for Trump,” Peters said. “So on Election Day or election week, whenever we know who the winner of the presidential election is, if it’s not Donald Trump, there’s a sizable chunk of people who are going to say, ‘How is this possible? I don’t know anyone who is voting for Biden.'”
This distorted view is further propped by Fox News and other conservative media outlets, which frame negative stories about the president as partisan attacks by his enemies.
“That’s why it’s so important for Trump and his pro-Trump media boosters to insist that he’s doing so well, that he’s winning,” Peters said. “Winning is such a key part of the Trump brand, so even after a night like Tuesday night where you had members of his own campaign staff and White House staff really shaking their heads at his performance, the message coming out of them publicly, at least, was the president really killed it. He was in an unfair fight against two people debating him, the moderator and Joe Biden, so, you know, he really beat the spread. We think he did a great job under such trying circumstances and the media is going to lie to you, that’s why it’s so important to put that narrative out there.”
“If you are a Trump voter, it’s better for you to be energized and mobilized by the sense, false as it is, that you’re winning,” he added, “and that’s something that I talk to Democrats and they’re really worried about because Democrats don’t, for the most part, have the same sense of energy and momentum. In fact, they’re quite anxious they might lose, and I think that that’s something that, frankly, Trump has an advantage on.”