The New Mexico Republican Party blamed its dismal performance in a special election this week on their own 'election integrity' messaging.
Republican lies about voter fraud and rigged elections cost them a critical special election in New Mexico this week — at least according to the New Mexico Republican Party.
In an effort to excuse their party's dismal performance in a special election in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, the New Mexico Republican Party said that their nominee lost by a wider-than-expected margin because GOP voters stayed home over fears voter fraud.
"Low voter turnout was a big factor," the Republican Party of New Mexico said in a statement. "Republican voters were angry from 2020 — many questioned election integrity — and stayed home."
But turnout from the election wasn't that low. Nearly 132,000 people voted in the special election. That's far more than the 78,000 people who voted in a GOP-held special election in Texas' 6th Congressional District back in May.
The excuse also appears to suggest Republicans are admitting their unproven claims of election fraud are hurting their party.
Donald Trump has been pushing lies about fraud starting before the 2020 election.
In August 2020, months before Election Day, he falsely claimed the election was rigged against him, pointing to the massive shift to absentee voting in states across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason the election would be tilted against him.
Then, after he lost, Trump claimed the election was stolen from him, making up baseless lies about rigged voting machines and vaguely blaming his loss on "fraud."
Trump's Republican allies took that message and ran with it, continuing to lie about fraud as GOP-controlled state legislatures look to pass laws to restrict voting in future elections.
Some Republicans have already warned that voter fraud and rigged election messaging could hurt the party.
Georgia Republicans feared that the rigged election messaging would hurt their chances in the two critical Senate runoffs in January. The GOP went on to lose those two races, which handed control of the Senate to Democrats.
As for the New Mexico special election, Democratic Rep.-elect Melanie Stansbury defeated GOP nominee Mark Moores 60.3% to 35.7%.
Stansbury's margin was even greater than the margin President Joe Biden won the district by in 2020. And it was far greater than the margin the former district's former representative — current Interior Secretary Deb Haaland — won the seat by in 2020.
Biden won the district with 60.2% of the vote compared to Trump's 37.4%. Haaland won in 2020 with 58.2% compared to her GOP opponent's 41.8%.
Stansbury's overperformance was an encouraging sign for Democrats, who say it shows that Democratic enthusiasm is not waning ahead of the critical 2022 midterm elections.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.