- When the “red wave” failed to materialize, the MAGA internet exploded.
- Many far-right commentators have declared that some of the elections were rigged.
- Other netizens insisted that the party leave Trump behind and rally around Ron DeSantis.
Many pundits and politicians have predicted that the 2022 US midterm elections will be a “red wave” or even a “red tsunami,” but as the results are in, the GOP candidates appear to be underperforming. In particular, many far-right, Trump-backed candidates have lost their primaries, with MAGA favorites Rep. Lauren Boebert and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake in very close races that they could easily lose.
The MAGA internet is in meltdown mode during the midterm elections, with some beginning to declare the election rigged before the polls closed on Tuesday. Even some of Trump’s most casual allies, including former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, admitted the results were disappointing.
Far-right users with a large following on Telegram declared the fake election rigged as vote totals began to come in on Tuesday night and continued to spread conspiracy theories about the vote. Much of the conservative protest was centered around John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania over Trump-backed candidate Mehmet Öz, which flipped his senate seat from Republicans to Democrats.
“Fetterman? Really?” A QAnon influencer with over 220,000 Telegram followers wrote a post that unfoundedly claimed the election was rigged. “It’s not even remotely plausible by the standards.”
Arizona’s Maricopa County was a hot spot for claims of unsubstantiated voter fraud early Tuesday morning, and that continued Wednesday as Lake’s numbers fell below those of challenger Katie Hobbs. A QAnon user with more than 15,000 Telegram followers wrote Wednesday that they believed Lake would hold the seat despite “heavy fraud,” while the far-right BioClandestine called Arizona “ground zero for voter fraud” in a thread about Lake’s race.
A popular far-right user who runs a pro-Trump parody account wrote a vague message to his 200,000 Telegram followers on Wednesday calling for “jail” and “speedy trial” of all election fraudsters without providing any evidence of fraud. Co-conspirator Lynn Wood, who worked as a pro-Trump lawyer in the former president’s fight to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, also wrote a message Tuesday night urging her 475,000 Telegram followers to “continue the fight to end fraudulent elections.”
Conservative internet rally corners around DeSantis
The conservative Reddit page, which has more than a million members, was flooded with worried and frustrated users after Tuesday’s vote. Some on the subreddit argued that the red tide was waning as Republicans rallied around weaker candidate choices like Georgia senate candidate Herschel Walker and Oz. Others insisted the party should move beyond Trump and support politicians like Ron DeSantis, who was re-elected Florida governor in one of the GOP’s strongest victories on Tuesday.
In response to the backlash against Trump, some far-right influencers have been quick to claim that his influence on voters is as strong as ever. Far-right representative of Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” program and claimed that blaming people Trump has a “lazy, pathetic, scheming, facile mindset.”
Meanwhile, on an outside forum for Trump supporters, some users called for the military to intervene and claimed, without justification, that the elections in many states were “obviously rigged”.
While there was much talk of doom and gloom on the far right, some influential Republican commentators and politicians tried to paint the results as a victory for conservatives.
Trump wrote on Truth Social Wednesday that the results were “somewhat disappointing” but that he personally considered it a “huge victory.” A day before the polls closed, he wrote numerous posts alleging and implying that the elections were rigged in many states.