Politics

Despondent Lefties Call for Trump-Hillary Recount

Democrats, media indulge in conspiracy theories about GOP electioneering

There is something about President-Elect Donald Trump bringing out the hypocrisy in his opponents.

He’s good at it.

The Left is even accusing Nate Cohn of The New York Times of “covering up fraud” in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Before the election, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pressed Trump on accepting the election results. Trump was coy, never suggesting he would accept defeat. This angered many Democrats and liberals, who were sure Trump was headed to a certain and bone-crushing defeat.

Clinton supporters demanded Trump accept this coming defeat, ostensibly to help make Clinton a more legitimate president in the eyes of the public. They also sneered at Trump’s suggestion that there is election fraud.

Defeat didn’t arrive for Trump on Nov. 8. Now the Left is calling for an audit. And they want this audit only in states that could throw the election back to Clinton.

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The uproar started when a group of computer scientists looked at the results in three key states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — and claimed to find trends that could suggest final counts were off.

As breathlessly reported by Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine on Tuesday, top election experts have contacted the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton and have shared their concerns.

Sherman reported that “in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots.”

In other words, machines in Republican areas may have been hacked. In Democratic areas where paper ballots are used — where hacking is less likely — the results are more expected and normal, at least to the eyes of Democratic partisans.

It was not long before one of those experts disputed some of Sherman’s reporting, though.

On Wednesday morning, Professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan walked back some of the claims in the article but confirmed that he is concerned about the election results in the three states.

“The only way to know whether a cyber-attack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence  —  paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania,” Halderman wrote. “Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.”

Halderman added: “Examining the physical evidence in these states  —  even if it finds nothing amiss  —  will help allay doubt and give voters justified confidence that the results are accurate.”

The message was received loud and clear, apparently, because on Wednesday, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested a recount in the three states.

“After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable,” Stein said in a statement.

It makes sense to target Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Those three states have not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since the 1980s. The states helped Trump build a likely Electoral College victory of 306 votes to Clinton’s 232.

If those three states can be swung to Clinton, she would win with 278 electoral votes.

Yet, according to the Department of Homeland Security, no vote hacking took place on Election Day. And no state has declared the need for a recount.

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But Clinton supporters watch vote totals go higher for each candidate every day, and note Clinton won the popular vote. It’s driving the Left to slowly revert to its old ways of embracing conspiracy theories about Republicans.

Actress Chelsea Peretti, whose brother founded BuzzFeed, is tweeting up a storm demanding an audit.

Another person with a more famous sibling is also making hay. Her name is Heba Abedin, sister of Huma Abedin, the top Clinton aide.

Heba Abedin suggests that auditors only need to shift “just 55,000 Trump votes” in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to win. Despite the abhorrent suggestion that 55,000 Trump votes should be “shifted,” or were manufactured — Heba Abedin is technically correct. Yet it’s hard to “shift” votes after the election.

What Heba Abedin is really driving at is that Trump’s margin of victory in those three states is approximately 103,000, according to the latest numbers from a spreadsheet kept by Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. Make that margin disappear, and Hillary can be president.

So the Left is getting desperate as certification nears in each state, and electors are chosen. The Left is even accusing Nate Cohn of The New York Times of “covering up fraud” in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, according to Cohn’s Twitter account.

Cohn is the election-numbers expert at The Times, and has called the claims about possible fraud “weak.” For that, he is getting grief.

This is all just a preview. Deep in the progressive psyche is a fondness for conspiracy theories about powerful business interests rigging the “system.” Those theories you can expect more of in the next four years.

meet the author

Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.

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