Mehdi Hasan: How Republicans could return Donald Trump to the White House even if he loses in 2024
Political pundits who have had a lot to say about the 2022 midterms, from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to “Real Time” host Bill Maher to Never Trump conservatives like Charlie Sykes and Tim Miller at The Bulwark, wouldn’t be quite so worried if a red wave were dominated by traditional non-MAGA conservatives like Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, former New York Gov. George Pataki and the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona. What really worries them is the possibility of a lot of MAGA Republicans and “Stop the Steal” election deniers being victorious — people who have made it abundantly clear that if they controlled the administration of elections, they would be quite willing to simply throw out any election results that they didn’t like.
Those election deniers, MAGA critics warn, are going way beyond pushing traditional right-wing policies — they are declaring war on democracy itself. Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot believes that MAGA election deniers have more in common with Russian President Vladimir Putin or Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán they do with traditional Reagan and Goldwater conservatives.
During a sobering commentary on Sunday night, November 6, MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan had a dire warning about what January 2025 could look like if enough MAGA election deniers prevail in the 2022 midterms.
The progressive firebrand told viewers, “Tonight, I want you to picture the scene as I take you to a post-midterms future…. On January 6, 2025, as the 119th Congress is meeting — four years on from a violent insurrection — I want you to imagine that Republicans now control both the House and the Senate, having taken control of both chambers in the red wave of November 2022 and having easily kept hold of them in November 2024…. In the presidential election that same month, Joe Biden faced off against Donald Trump again — and Biden triumphed again, winning the popular vote by several million and winning the Electoral College as well by a healthy margin again.”
Hasan continued, “But now, in January 2025 — and in the two months since Biden’s reelection victory — there’s been chaos in key swing states. In Pennsylvania, where Biden won again, Republican Gov. Doug Mastriano…. has rejected Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, claiming, without evidence, massive election fraud and signed off on his own slate of pro-Trump electors to go to D.C. instead on 1-6. Meanwhile, in Michigan, Republican Gov. Tudor Dixon and Republican Secretary of State Kristina Karamo — both of whom denied the results of the 2020 presidential election but were still elected to office back in those 2022 midterms — they’ve done the same, rejecting the will of Michiganders and sending a slate of pro-Trump electors to D.C.”
The MSNBC host elaborated on his troubling January 2025 scenario, describing Wisconsin’s Tim Michels as a Republican gubernatorial candidate who would give Wisconsin’s electoral votes to Trump even if he lost the state in 2024.
“Imagine, it’s January 6, 2025, and Biden has lost his Electoral College votes from Michigan, from Wisconsin, from Pennsylvania — and the result is now, shockingly, 269 votes for Biden and 269 votes for Trump in the Electoral College. It’s a tie, a dead heat. And under the 12th Amendment, it goes to the House of Representatives — where the Republicans control a majority of House delegations, and they get to pick the president. So, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and his gang vote to return Trump to the White House. It doesn’t matter that Joe Biden, the Democrat, won both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, both by comfortable margins. False claims of election fraud pushed by election-denying Republican governors and secretaries of state put Trump back in the Oval Office — all because of what happened at the ballot box this coming Tuesday in the 2022 midterm elections.”
Hasan’s January 2025 scenario becomes even more troubling if one factors in Kari Lake, the far-right conspiracy theorist, MAGA Republican and election denier who, according to polls, has a good chance of being elected governor of Arizona on November 8. Hasan used Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin as his main examples, but if Lake wins, she could — as Maher has been warning — try to give Arizona’s electoral votes to Trump in 2024 even if he loses the state again.
Nevada is another swing state to pay close attention to on Election Night 2022. NBC News’ Chuck Todd, on November 7’s “Meet the Press” broadcast, noted how close Nevada’s U.S. Senate race is, according to polls. Some recent polls have shown incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto and her Republican challenger Adam Laxalt — a Big Lie promoter — neck in neck.
Todd told viewers, “If the country gets a cold economically, Nevada usually gets the flu — and it’s in Nevada where Democrats are fighting to hold onto office up and down the ballot. Gov. Steve Sisolak, Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto and all three House Democratic incumbents are in some tough reelection challenges.”
Todd’s NBC News colleague Jacob Soboroff, reporting from Las Vegas, noted that Nevada has more than its share of Big Lie promoters who falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
Soboroff told Todd, “If Arizona is Ground Zero for election denialism, Nevada is certainly one of the epicenters, Chuck — and the stakes could not be higher on that front.”
Soboroff added that Nevada has higher-than-average unemployment combined with severe inflation, telling Todd, “As we crisscross neighborhoods here in Las Vegas.... the issue we continue to hear over and over again was unaffordability."
\u201cImagine it's January 6th 2025 & the GOP holds the House, the Senate, and the governorships of key swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. \n\nWhat do you think's going to happen to the certification of the electoral college vote?\n\nMy @MSNBC monologue:\nhttps://t.co/pN0RDZ8Tcz\u201d— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1667795839
\u201cWATCH: When the U.S. gets a cold economically, "Nevada usually gets the flu," says @chucktodd.\n\n@jacobsoboroff has been talking to voters in the state: "As we crisscross neighborhoods here in Las Vegas ... the issue we continue to hear over and over again was unaffordability."\u201d— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press) 1667827810
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