Trump's "big lie" of election fraud is even more potent than his birtherism conspiracy theory, according to a new analysis in The Washington Post.
"Both conspiracy theories were pushed by Trump and were, at their root, about calling into question the legitimacy of a Democratic president using specious and nonexistent evidence. And both were embraced by large swaths of the GOP despite that," Aaron Blake wrote. "If anything, though, the GOP’s belief in the 'big lie' has proved more pervasive and stubborn than the conspiracy theory that laid the groundwork for it a decade ago."
Blake noted that polls have consistently shown that more than two-thirds of Republicans do not believe the 2020 election was legitimate.
"While early polling on birtherism was more infrequent, you could get very different results depending upon how you asked the question — from as few as 13 percent of Americans believing in it to upward of 3 in 10 and a significant majority of Republicans," he wrote. "And two events did seem to at least momentarily diminish GOP belief in it: President Barack Obama releasing his long-form birth certificate in 2011, and Trump at least momentarily disowning the conspiracy theory (after rekindling it) as a presidential candidate in 2016."
He explained how the two conspiracy theories demonstrate the direction of the GOP.
"Belief in the 'big lie' persists even though the claims of fraud and irregularities have failed overwhelmingly in courts and have been denounced by Trump’s own attorney general, among others who had plenty of reason to legitimize them," Blake wrote. "Ten years ago, it was shocking that so many Republicans could believe something so baseless. A decade later, something even more conspiratorial, more dangerous for the future of our democracy, and more roundly debunked has become even more of an overwhelming article of faith in the party — with no sign of abating."
In addition to birtherism and election fraud, Trump has also spread conspiracy theories about the Clintons killing people, Jeffrey Epstein not committing suicide, the murder of Seth Rich, Ted Cruz's father and JFK's assassination, Joe Scarborough killing an intern, the deep state, Antifa, Ukraine, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, hurricanes, the Covid pandemic, and windmills, among other topics, including his conspiracy theory that asbestos poisoning is a myth pushed by the mafia.
Read the full analysis.