Ron Johnson embraces election conspiracy theories about his own state — after months of resisting: analysis
Ron Johnson (Screen Grab)

On Friday, writing for MSNBC, commentator Steve Benen explored how Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), long a purveyor of conspiracy theories, has now endorsed the one conspiracy theory he spent a year refusing to touch — that the election results of his own state were fraudulent.

"As regular readers know, Johnson has spent the past few years becoming a far-right caricature who's increasingly seen as more of a partisan clown than a serious policymaker," wrote Benen. "The scope of his troubles is almost impressive. Johnson has, for example, cultivated a dreadful record on Covid-19. And the Jan. 6 attack. And support for foreign autocrats. And Russian disinformation."

However, noted Benen, for the longest time, Johnson avoided sowing doubt about the election results in Wisconsin. "There's nothing obviously skewed about the results," Johnson said to Republican voters as recently as last September. "If all the Republicans voted for Trump the way they voted for the Assembly candidates, he would have won. He didn't get 51,000 votes that other Republicans got, and that's why he lost."

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But at a recent tele-town hall, the Huffington Post reported, Johnson gave in and promoted the conspiracy theory. "Our concern is Milwaukee," he said. "This is one of these big Democrat strongholds that just can't seem to get their votes counted until they know exactly how many votes they need. Whether anything's happening or not, this just looks suspicious."

"What's actually suspicious is that the Republican targeted his home state's most racially diverse city with claims of election irregularities that he hasn't even tried to prove," wrote Benen.

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