Donald Trump is losing the presidential election — badly. Almost every day the national map at sites like ElectoralVote.com gets bluer. The blue states turn a deeper blue, and some states that were dark red a few months ago are now a muted pink. Trump is in deep trouble.
In 2012 the polls said Mitt Romney was in trouble, too. But Romney’s campaign and their media allies passed it off with the notion that the polls were flawed, that they were actually comfortably ahead, and when the votes were counted Mitt Romney would be president. When that didn’t happen, Romney grudgingly conceded.
Trump has criticized the polls as well, pointing to the one outlier, the LA Times/USC tracking poll that has had him with a national lead for weeks, as proof that the other polls are flawed. But Donald Trump is playing another, much more dangerous game, claiming that the election is going to be “rigged.” And predictably, followers of the man some fawningly refer to as their “god-emperor” on internet message boards and social media are livid.
Trump has been cavalierly throwing out the “rigged election” charge for several months, knowing that he is in a no-lose position among his followers. If Clinton beats him, the election was definitely rigged. If he wins, well, he is such a genius he just beat the system, rigging and all.
Now some of his followers, convinced that The Donald is correct, are aiming to do something to try and prevent what they see as a bald-faced conspiracy to deny him the presidency. And there is no more pleasant way to describe their plans than to say that they intend to openly intimidate minority voters at the polls.
In Ohio, a state history says the Republican has to carry to win the presidency, Trump’s supporters let their intentions be known. The Boston Globe reports that some attendees at Trump’s Cincinnati rally on Thursday spoke openly about their fears of Democrats stealing the election. Some believe there are boxes of Clinton ballots, already filled out, waiting to be added into the count on election day. They talked about Democrats possibly loading up buses with minority voters and taking them to vote at several polling places. Both of those stories have gotten attention in right-wing media in recent weeks. The former has been soundly debunked. And the latter comes from the most recent misinformation effort produced by right-wing criminal James O’Keefe.
The Globe quotes a 61-year-old carpenter named Steve Webb, who openly admits he is heeding the call and plans to intimidate minority voters.
“Trump said to watch you [sic] precincts. I’m going to go, for sure.
“I’ll look for . . . well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American. I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”
Joe Cecil, a 39-year-old who manages a restaurant, thinks Trump is right. And his concern about Muslims taking over the country echoes the racist fears of whites from past generations, with a different group replacing African-Americans as the bogeyman.
“If people are offended by the sexual stuff, what do they think is going to happen when Muslims come here, implement Sharia law, and start raping our women?”
Cecil is convinced that Trump will win the popular vote, but that the Electoral College will give the presidency to Clinton.
“This is my prediction: Trump is going to win the popular vote by a landslide, and the Electoral College will elect Hillary, because of all the corruption. Maybe it’ll all work and restore my faith in humanity. But I doubt it.”
Some of Trump’s supporters are calling for an armed uprising if their god-emperor loses. They are convinced that the only way Clinton can win is if there is massive cheating. They are determined to everything they can to prevent it, even if they can’t prove it, and even if it means threatening other Americans at the polls.
Featured image via John Sommers II/Getty Images